mourning


mourning
   The etiquette of mourning in the upper classes is well documented from medieval times onwards; it gradually spread into the middle classes, reaching a peak in Victorian times, particularly for women. Black clothing in matt fabrics was the essential feature, with crape hatbands and armbands for men, and veils for women. Women wore mourning for two and a half years for the death of a husband, but men only three months for a wife; both sexes wore it for a year for a parent, and for varying periods for other relatives. This was followed (for women) by grey, violet, or mauve 'half-mourning'. Very young children could wear white with black trimmings. Servants wore mourning whenever their employers did. The poor copied these customs as best they could; they dyed existing clothes when they could not afford new ones. Friendly Societies and Trade Unions sometimes kept a few plain black dresses to lend out to widows at members' funerals.
   In the first half of the 20th century mourning etiquette was greatly reduced, though as late as the 1940s it was common to see people wearing black armbands or black diamond-shaped patches sewn to their sleeves for some while after a death, and a black outfit was still necessary for everyone attending a funeral. Nowadays, no outward marks of bereavement are displayed except on the day of the funeral, for which only close relatives dress entirely in black; for others, any quiet, dark colour will do, though men usually still wear black ties, and women black hats and gloves.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • MOURNING — (Heb. אֵבֶל), the expression of grief and sorrow over the death of a close relative, friend, national leader, or in response to a national calamity. The lamentation (Heb. קִינָה (kinah, qinah); נְהִי, nehi) is the specifically literary and… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Mourning — Mourn ing, a. 1. Grieving; sorrowing; lamenting. [1913 Webster] 2. Employed to express sorrow or grief; worn or used as appropriate to the condition of one bereaved or sorrowing; as, mourning garments; a mourning ring; a mourning pin, and the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mourning — Mourn ing, n. [AS. murnung.] 1. The act of sorrowing or expressing grief; lamentation; sorrow. [1913 Webster] 2. Garb, drapery, or emblems indicative of grief, esp. clothing or a badge of somber black. [1913 Webster] The houses to their tops with …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mourning — ► NOUN 1) the experience or expression of deep sorrow for someone who has died. 2) black clothes conventionally worn in a period of mourning …   English terms dictionary

  • mourning — [môr′niŋ] n. 1. the actions or feelings of one who mourns; specif., the expression of grief at someone s death 2. black clothes, drapery, etc. worn or displayed as a conventional sign of grief for the dead 3. the period during which one mourns… …   English World dictionary

  • mourning — index disconsolate Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • mourning — (n.) O.E. murnung complaint, grief, verbal noun from MOURN (Cf. mourn) (v.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • mourning — [n] sadness, time of sadness aching, bereavement, blackness, crying, darkness, grief, grieving, keening, lamentation, lamenting, languishing, moaning, pining, repining, sorrowing, wailing, weeping, woe; concepts 388,410 Ant. cheer, happiness, joy …   New thesaurus

  • Mourning — Not to be confused with Morning. Margarita Teresa of Austria, Holy Roman Empress, in mourning, 1666; her brother, the young king Charles II of Spain appears behind her with his attendants wearing mourning dress …   Wikipedia

  • mourning — noun 1 sadness about sb s death ADJECTIVE ▪ deep ▪ national, official ▪ public VERB + MOURNING ▪ be in, go …   Collocations dictionary

  • mourning — n. 1) to declare, proclaim (a period of) mourning 2) to go into mourning 3) deep mourning 4) national mourning 5) in mourning for * * * [ mɔːnɪŋ] proclaim (a period of) mourning deep mourning in mourning for national mourning to declare to go in …   Combinatory dictionary