Originally Posted by Tonberry
I agree. Just mentioning another word I've seen used.
First of all, this is the second time only than I've seen the word "trinogamous" The first time I asked the person "do you mean 'trigamous'?" and got chastised ("Of course I don't mean trigamous! Trigamous would mean I have three partners! I only have two! I'm bigamous.") So I'm fairly confident people are not trying to say trigamous (and I would have realised that if I realised they were talking about a triad. I thought the guy had 3 partners, that it was a quad.)
If trigamous could apply to a relationship between 3 people, then bigamous could apply to a relationship between 2 people, which is a couple, and monogamous would mean celibate.
As for the word "trinomous", I did not actually goodle anything. In French (I'm French), when people are paired up for a project, we call it working in "binomes", and "trinomes" is used for groups of 3 people. I assumed that "trinomous" would be the corresponding adjective in English, as the starting "trino-" seemed to refer to trinomes.
But it's quite possible that the word "trinome" or "binome" or any derivatives are actually not used in English, which would add up to how confusing the term is.
EDIT: just looked up the translation for "trinome" into English. Got "trinomial".
Yes, I pretty much got the same thing you did of course (because it's the same google of course), and just didn't copypasta everything into here (went with 2 of the "authoritative" dictionary sources on the web). Interestingly enough, there doesn't seem to be a Wikipedia page for these words, although "trigamous" had an entry in "Wiktionary". For the most part, it does indeed refer to the number of PARTNERS a person has - not the total number of people in the partnership as a group. And the "-gamous" part refers to the number of gametes/gonads present in an organism (a "trigamous" flowering plant, for example) - I should have noticed that because I like, studied that shit in college, but I don't use much biological terminology on an every-day basis, so I forgot most of it.
Basically, none of these words are linguistically "correct" when it comes to describing a polyfidelitous triad the way we're referring to it right now.