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Stunted
10-22-2008, 03:01 AM
What the polite word for the European equivalent of a harem. (That exists, right?)

Samantha's_Song
10-22-2008, 03:09 AM
Not legally, it doesn't.

Ken
10-22-2008, 03:58 AM
...guess the closest equivalent would be "polygamy."

Smiling Ted
10-22-2008, 07:58 AM
"Harem" isn't particularly impolite.
However, in 18th Century Europe, it used to be called a "seraglio."

citymouse
10-22-2008, 03:19 PM
A harem means a segregated area in a household for women. It's off limits for men. It is not a bordello. There really isn't a western term for a harem since the tradition doesn't exist in European society. Of course your women could be nuns and then they'd could be in a cloister but I don't think that's where your heading with this.
C

waylander
10-22-2008, 04:24 PM
A harem means a segregated area in a household for women. It's off limits for men. It is not a bordello. There really isn't a western term for a harem since the tradition doesn't exist in European society. Of course your women could be nuns and then they'd could be in a cloister but I don't think that's where your heading with this.
C

It has come to be used to refer to the women in the segregated area, and from that to refer to the women attached to one man.

IceCreamEmpress
10-22-2008, 04:36 PM
What the polite word for the European equivalent of a harem. (That exists, right?)

What do you mean? Do you mean "an area of the residence restricted to women" or "a group of wives and concubines" or "a string of female lovers?"

I think that "harem" is pretty much the only word for the first two, regardless of location. If you use it to mean the last, it's a metaphorical usage anyway, so there's no reason not to extend it to Europe or anywhere else on the globe.

Sarpedon
10-22-2008, 05:19 PM
A 'Gyneaceum' was somewhere where only women lived. Its a greek term. In ancient greece and rome, rich men could indeed have harems, and I believe that would be a name for it. I guess I don't know what the latin term would be.

citymouse
10-22-2008, 06:37 PM
The Latin word for harem is gynaeceum.
C


A 'Gyneaceum' was somewhere where only women lived. Its a greek term. In ancient greece and rome, rich men could indeed have harems, and I believe that would be a name for it. I guess I don't know what the latin term would be.

Chase
10-22-2008, 08:11 PM
Probably not helpful in this case, but here in Oregon, "harem" also refers to a group of isolated female seals guarded by a dominant male.

In Montana, Fish Wildlife & Parks uses "harem" to describe cow elk under the protection of a bull. As in human harems, there's a self-administered pecking order. For instance, some cows post themselves as sentinels watching for predators. Others dictate who beds where.

I'm sure there are other uses of the word, but even in the context of watching elk graze, some of my critiquers objected strongly to using the term in any other situation than with veils and baggy see-through pants.

Sarpedon
10-22-2008, 10:15 PM
I wouldn't listen to such critics. 'Harem' is not only the right technical term, but also a wonderfully evocative word for that case.

BarbaraKE
10-23-2008, 05:29 AM
I've heard of someone having a 'stable' of girlfriends.

Bayou Bill
10-23-2008, 07:48 AM
What the polite word for the European equivalent of a harem. (That exists, right?)
Stunted, IMHO, there is no equivalent. If you want to avoid using "harem" then Ted's suggestion, "seraglio," an Italian term for a Turkish institution, is probably you're best bet.

Bayou Bill :cool:

Stunted
10-23-2008, 03:39 PM
Thanks everyone. I think I have it figured out.