Intersomething marriage

The boundaries of mixed metaphors

By William Wetherall

First posted 5 February 2007
Last updated 5 February 2007

Marriage -- whether voluntary, arranged, ordered, encouraged by bribary, compelled by a shotgun -- is between two people, though families, clans, political parties, corporations, estates, and even states may be the true partners and beneficiaries.

Marriages between people of different gender is taken for granted. Only when both spouses are of the same gender are people wont to attach a label like "same-sex" or "homosexual" -- in contrast with which other marriages become "opposite-sex" or "heterosexual".

The same is true for other unions of people who cross boundards of faith, race, caste, class, or even country. Curiosity, apprehension, disgust, and opposition move people to call such unions "interfaith", "interracial", "intercaste", "interclass", or "international" -- and the list goes on.

Marriages between people of different backgrounds, whatever their traits, "mixed marriages". Marriages between people of different races, especially when prohibited by law, have been called "miscegenation" meaning "race mixing".

Some Japanese expressions

 konketsu = mixed blood
 junketsu = pure blood

G zasshu = mixed species, hybrid, mongrel

 rankon = promiscuous marriage
[marriage sanctioned after intercourse]

G zakkon = mixed marriage
[usually marriage between people of different races]
[may be disparaging today]

ی kokusai kekkon
international marriage
[marriage between people of different nationalities]
[most common term used today in Japan]

̎ ryoji kekkon = consular marriage, foreign marriage
[marriage legalized at overseas consulate]
[British usage]

O naigai kekkon = inner-outer marriage
[between someone from inside and someone from outside a country]
[Japanese usage]

ŠO shogai kekkon = liaison marriage
[involving procedures countries take to facilitate
marriage between a national and an alien]
[legal term in international private law]

To be continued.