May 20, 1993
Okay, this is the kind of challenge that brings this lurker out of the woodwork...
The USENET group alt.polyamory was started in early 1993: The word Polyamory was not used on USENET before 1992. Here's an early reference, and discussion of word usage. This is an early time Polyamory is used on usenet (as far as the Google archives) was 5/20/1993. in the following post. There's not much geek speak.The poster is responding to an earlier question.
And the alt.polyamory FAQ is quite familiar to many on this forum. Apparently the questions are the same, the answers have changed, a bit, as clarifications have been needed.
(Google is choking for me right now... If you want, I'll post the FAQ... later..)
References: <1993May18.email@example.com> <C7C2Kq.B60@unix.amherst.edu> <1993May20.firstname.lastname@example.org>
writing in article <1993May18.204226.1...@midway.uchicago.edu>:
<>>can we come up with another term that doesn't mean polyamourous
<>>(many loves) but mean not monogamous?
Tim Pierce <twpie...@unix.amherst.edu>
writing in article <C7C2Kq....@unix.amherst.edu>:
TP>Isn't this one of the meanings of that old word, "polygamous?" Before
TP>someone decided to coin "polyamorous"?
Alan Jaffray <jaff...@dent.uchicago.edu>
writing in article <1993May20.185703....@midway.uchicago.edu>:
AJ> Actually, no, I don't think so. "Monogamous" has been taken, by a
AJ> twist of logic, from meaning "one wife" to meaning "one sex partner",
AJ> but "polygamous" (which logically *should* be the opposite) still has
AJ> the definite connotation of multiple wives. i.e., it's *stronger* than
AJ> "polyamory", not weaker.
From my on-line Webster:
1: marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate
at the same time -- compare POLYANDRY, POLYGYNY
2: the state of being polygamous
po-lyg-a-mist n -- po-lyg-a-mize vi
[Gk polyandros, adj., having many husbands, fr. poly- + andr-, aner man,
husband -- more at ANDR-]
:the state or practice of having more than one husband or male mate
at one time -- compare POLYGAMY, POLYGYNY
:the state or practice of having more than one wife or female mate
at one time -- compare POLYANDRY, POLYGAMY
So I think "polygamy" is indeed the word we want (or as close an
approximation to the word we want as our culture has permitted to evolve).
BTW, just as the Greek "andros" = "man" gives us "polyandry", so
Gk "gyne" = "woman" gives us "polygyny". The "gam" in "polygamy",
"monogamy", "bigamy", "gamete", and "gamosepalous" comes from
"gamos" = "marry" or "mate". Any union in which one takes but one
mate is "monogamous", with no twist of logic required. Having but
one wife would I suppose be "monogyny", but I don't know how to make
the affixes harmonize to make a decent word out of "mono-andry"
I mean, after all, if we're going to be sicko perverted queers we can
at least be well-informed, literate sicko perverted queers with good
vocabularies, right? How else can we be precise about our aberrations? ;-)
== Aspen (who likes both men and women, but *loves* words!)