The words related to marriage in Esperanto all seem to based on the edz- root. This seems problematic to me because it is gender specific.

John Wells’ dictionary has this suggestion as a translation of marriage:

marriage geedz-iĝo, edz(in)-iĝo, -eco

Is that suggesting it is geedziĝo for a marriage of different genders and edziĝo or edziniĝo if they are the same gender? Can any of these words be used as a general term for marriage without regard to gender?

I note also that ReVo has edzeco as an entry for “stato de geedzoj”. As the definition clearly includes women, it seems like it could be a good candidate for a general word. However, in PIV this word is marked as an arkaismo and there is also an entry for geedzeco. To me it feels like this last word more explicitly excludes gay marriage. Is this a correct assumption?

  • 1
    Acceptable (because not an unrecognizable term for a special case) seems vivpartnereco. But nothing against edziĝo as answered below.
    – Joop Eggen
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 8:37

6 Answers 6


In fact Zamenhof used to use the derivatives of edz- in a sexually neutral way, there are many attestations of edziga/edziĝa ringo "wedding ring" in Rabeno de Baĥaraĥ kaj Marta without relation to a man. I could, however, not find post-Z attestations (neither with ge-), so I think PIV is right and the system (male meaning visible everywhere) has pushed out the older, less regular but handy use.

The only real solution I see to the problem of naming married people without indication of sex is a new neutral root. The easiest way would be taking over spozo from Ido. One should, however, bear in mind that this would be highly experimental language use.

  • 3
    I like this word! I’m not adverse to experimental language, especially when it seems so neccessary. Thanks!
    – Neil Roberts
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 21:56
  • The spoz/ root as at least really weak possible confilcting occurences in other words, the only case where it might conflict with an other interpretation – somwhat far fetched – seems to be ekspozici/[io], where with this root one might analyze the word as ek-spoz-ic-i/[io] Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 9:52
  • It's really interesting to see the origins of the word and how we have moved away from that! Commented Feb 23, 2019 at 20:37
  • The main problem that I see with the proposal to use "spozo" is that it only solves this particular problem, but leaves us with other similar problems, like the lack of gender-neutral equivalents to "patr(in)o", "pinc(in)o" etc. The J-sistemo that I have proposed and that more and more people are starting to use (though it's still experimental) avoids this problem by providing a solution to all the traditionally gendered word roots of Esperanto: ejdzo, pajtro, prejnco etc. Commented Apr 2, 2019 at 9:21

I really like the word nupto, which seemingly can be used for any kind of marriage ceremony, even including more than 2 partners:

nupt/o. Ceremonio k festo, per kiu du (aŭ pli da) homoj publike celebras sian intencon pri vivkomuneco (plej ofte geedziĝo).

Since this word refers to the ceremony itself—rather than the aftermath—we might need to add some affixes. How about nupteco? Nuptaneco?

  • 1
    nuptigo would be the result of the process related to the nupt/ lexeme. Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 9:55

If we are prepared to accept a neologism for this word, we can look at j-riismo, which is a proposal to systematically create gender-neutral roots for the few gender-specific words. It is gaining in popularity due promotion by Marcos Cramer on the internet and in congresses, but it is still far from being universally understood.

Under j-riismo, the neutral word for a spouse would be ejdzo, so for marriage you could say ejdziĝo.

Tro rapida ejdziĝo — porĉiama kateniĝo

Fejanĉiĝo ne estas ejdziĝo

(Fejanĉo is the j-riismo word for fiancé/fiancée)


For the sake of completeness, accommodating this situation by using an Esperanto translation of ‘civil union’ should be considered, even if ultimately rejected. However, to the objection, “I didn’t ask my partner to ‘civil union’ me!” I reply by citing the adage, “There isn’t any word in English that can’t be verbed.”

  • 2
    I think for many countries a civil union is different from a marriage, and many countries also allow an actual marriage between same-sex couples.
    – Neil Roberts
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 9:11
  • @NeilRoberts: But remember, as Joe Bob Briggs pointed out, 'marriage' is a church word, not a state word: takimag.com/article/none_of_the_above_joe_bob_briggs/…
    – Mike Jones
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 13:41
  • People will use "civil marriage", even if it is not an official term written in the law. Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 10:03

Gejedziĝo (Gej-edziĝo) ? Nu, tio sufiĉe similas al Geedziĝo.

  • Mi serĉis vorton kiu ne precizigas ion ajn pri la genroj, same kiel la angla vorto marriage. Gejediziĝo precizigus samajn genrojn.
    – Neil Roberts
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 9:52

I would say oficiala kunigo is a rather relevant generic expression.

For a less abstract and more social connoted expression, you might use asoci/i and build things like amasocii (am/e asoci/i). You might also use the klub/ lexeme for that, so a marriage is an amklubo.

  • 1
    Okay suggestions, but I think they are far too generic. They seem to merely refer to any partnership, for which we have vivpartnereco, as mentioned by Joop Eggen, as opposed to marriage specifically. Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 18:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.