Open Dictionary word of the week: partner betweennessPosted by Laine Redpath Cole on February 02, 2012
partner betweenness (noun)
a situation when a female partner comes between her male partner and his friends, which then causes problems in the male-female relationship.
The study found partner betweenness undermines men’s feelings of autonomy and privacy, which are central to traditional concepts of masculinity.
We’ve been talking quite a bit over the last week about how words get into the dictionary … and why some don’t. This will never get into a dictionary will it? And surely it won’t trend? It’s so clumsy. It sounds strangely existentialist as well. Partner betweenness. ‘We have a situation of partner betweeness’ must surely be followed by this question: ‘What?’ After which the response must be the definition: ‘my partner has come between me and my friends, which has caused problems in our relationship’. I’ve left out the male-female relationship bit, but is that right? Forgetting the clumsy noun, is this a male-female thing? Doesn’t it happen in same-sex relationships or is there just another word for it? Also, is it always a female getting in the way? There must be a better term. Ideas? I mean, if you go in for this sort of sexism.
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Betweenness is not a new word. “Partner betweenness” is nothing more than the sum of its parts and the way it is benoted in the byspel, I’d put a hyphen: partner-betweenness.