One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The custom in some cultures in which a man takes to his bed and goes through certain rituals when his child is being born, as though he were physically affected by the birth.
- ‘The only known cure for couvade is - birth.’
- ‘But couvade, as I attempt to untangle its relation to colonialism in this essay, is a strategy re-invented for the purposes of reconciliation in narratives of Manichean allegory.’
- ‘Armin Brott discusses the whys (at least, in theory) of couvade syndrome and this research says that this condition does exist.’
- ‘In extreme forms of couvade, the man may mimic the pain and process of childbirth and expect his wife to wait on him in the following days.’
Mid 19th century: French, from couver ‘to hatch’, from Latin cubare ‘lie down’. The adoption of the term in French was due to a misunderstanding of the phrase faire la couvade ‘sit doing nothing’, used by earlier writers.
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