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Shotgun wedding

Shotgun wedding is an American idiom that first appeared sometime around the turn of the twentieth century. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the meaning of the term shotgun wedding, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A shotgun wedding is a marriage ceremony in which the participants are forced to marry, presumably under the threat of being shot with a shotgun. Generally, a shotgun wedding takes place when the participants have engaged in premarital sex and the woman has become preganant. The father of the bride is usually the one insisting on the union. The idea is to preserve the bride’s honor and ensure that the unborn child will be provided for. Literal shotgun weddings are a thing of the past, and the term is now mostly used in a figurative sense. The term shotgun wedding is also applied in other circumstances, as when two people are forced to cooperate on a project, or two companies are forced to merge. Today, children born out of wedlock are not born with the stigma they onc were, and forced marriages seldom occur.


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Examples

Directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning have been given the keys to the kingdom and they’ve thrown everything at it — a half-dozen big sea battles, a shotgun wedding, a joint execution, underwater sword fights and even a Beatle. (The Advocate)

In fact, lots of people in these well-established communities bitterly opposed the shotgun wedding forced on them by the Ontario government. (The Sun Journal)

If anything suggests South Korean film’s recent shotgun wedding with the right wing has come to an end, it’s this documentary’s US$4.8 million success at the box office. (The Asia Times)

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