Month: November 2015

The Origins of Hen (and Stag) Parties

history

Hen and stag parties are extremely widespread in UK culture now, and it might seem strange if a couple were getting married and decided not to have either one to wish the bride and groom well on their respective last nights of freedom. However, nowadays these parties are often associated with getting drunk, partying hard and being as rebellious as possible. Does this sound like something that’s been going on for hundreds of years?

Well, surprisingly to most perhaps, the concept has actually been around for a very long time, and the names hen and stag have also been used to mean the bride-to-be and groom-to-be for almost as long. So where did these turns of phrase originate from?

In fact, although it may seem obscure now for the bride to be named after a female chicken, the word “hen” hasn’t referred to a particular species for very long. In fact, it would have been used a few hundred years ago in English to mean a female bird of any kind, or simply a female term for any person or animal. The same is true of the term “stag” which could previously have referred to male of any species and not just a deer.… Read the rest

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