The play "Boston Marriage" (David Mamet) recently opened here. The review ascribed the title to meaning to "single women of independent means living together, sometimes with romantic connotations". In this play, the two female characters have an intimate relationship.

I'd never heard of this phrase before. Perhaps President Bush should move for a separate "Boston Marriage" concept to avoid the current issue.

Tony Cooper aka: tony (Email Removed)
Provider of Jots, Tittles, and Oy!s
I'd never heard of this phrase before. Perhaps President Bush should move for a separate "Boston Marriage" concept to avoid the current issue.

Bartelby suggest it comes from "The Bostonians" by Henry James. Perhaps the Greek islands were too distant for Americans?

http://www.bartleby.com/61/1/B0410150.html
I'd never heard of this phrase before. Perhaps President Bush should move for a separate "Boston Marriage" concept to avoid the current issue.

Bartelby suggest it comes from "The Bostonians" by Henry James. Perhaps the Greek islands were too distant for Americans?

But both that dictionary and the original post said that sex was not essential to the definition. What it sounds like to me is that, in the 19th century, the notion of two unrelated women being roommates/housemates, sharing the housekeeping costs, was sufficiently remarkable to be in need of being called something.

Suppose a century from now, someone were to ask, "What did the term 'roomies' mean?" and we explained about being roommates, and said it was not necessarily a sexual relationship. Would y'all leap on the "not necessarily" part and assume that it was sexual?
Best Donna Richoux
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Okay, so this one time? In band camp? (Email Removed) was all, like:
Suppose a century from now, someone were to ask, "What did the term 'roomies' mean?" and we explained about being roommates, and said it was not necessarily a sexual relationship. Would y'all leap on the "not necessarily" part and assume that it was sexual?

Probably...it's already happened with "lifelong companions"...the term could once be used to describe pairs like Holmes and Watson, or Don Quixote and Sancho Panza; now doing so would imply something less noble...it probably doesn't help matters to realize that "sancho" is Estado-de-Chihuahua slang for "lover"..r
Suppose a century from now, someone were to ask, "What did the term 'roomies' mean?" and we explained about being roommates, and said it was not necessarily a sexual relationship. Would y'all leap on the "not necessarily" part and assume that it was sexual?

When I was young it was normal for two people of the same sex to share an apartment. There was never a thought that this could be a sexual relationship. It was scandalous for an unmarried couple to share living quarters, and it was assumed that of course it was a sexual relationship. Nowadays that seems almost to be reversed. Perhaps it has to do with increased prosperity and diminished need to save on housing costs.

John Varela
But both that dictionary and the original post said that sex was not essential to the definition. What it sounds ... two unrelated women being roommates/housemates, sharing the housekeeping costs, was sufficiently remarkable to be in need of being called something.

Presumably unmarried women stayed home with their parents, and unmarried men took a room at a boarding house. If you lived with someone, you must be "married" in some sense.
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Suppose a century from now, someone were to ask, "What ... the "not necessarily" part and assume that it was sexual?

When I was young it was normal for two people of the same sex to share an apartment. There was ... almost to be reversed. Perhaps it has to do with increased prosperity and diminished need to save on housing costs.

I think it has more to do with changed attitudes. Some people (women as well as men) have begun to realise that a man and a woman can just be respecting friends, without anything sexual intruding. I had several relationships like that (as well as many of the other kind) during the period between wives, for I much prefer the company of women to that of men if I have the choice.

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Quiet part of Hertfordshire
England
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