Fiance vs. Fiancee

Difference between Fiancé and Fiancée

Often you hear a male friend tell you, meet my fiancé while occasionally our dear sisters introduce us to their ‘fiancées’. This begs the question, “do we really understand the meaning of these words and their use?” unfortunately for many of us not.

Let us now try to see where we go wrong, to comprehend this subject better, I think it’s good that we familiarize ourselves with the origin of the two mostly abused words. To begin with the word fiancé is a French noun imported to the English language to mean a male person who is engaged to a lady with whom he has an intention of getting married. In other words this gentleman is the lady’s fiancé, while the lady is the man’s fiancée.

Having understood the difference between the two words i.e. fiancé and fiancée, I hope next time we introduce our beloved ones to our colleagues, you and I will remember to do the English grammar justice by not confusing the two words for one another. The same way as there is mister and mistress, so is fiancé and fiancée, so simply fiancé is masculine while fiancée is feminine.

What we have discussed above is the meaning of fiancé and fiancée as used in present day English, but going back to the subject of how the two found their way into English language, we realize that actually the word fiancée comes from French word fiancé which literally means a promise. In turn fiancé owes its origin to the Latin word ‘fidere’ which means trust. We can therefore argue that fiancé is man and fiancée is a lady who has made a promise to each other based on trust respectively, in this case the promise being to get married.

Where the trust between the fiancé and the fiancée survives the test of time, they end up marrying each other thus satisfying the promise they made to each other and consequently becoming husband and wife for that matter. For those who lack does not seem  to be on their side are overwhelmed by the task of carrying the promise to its fulfillment, either because the trust between them is dead earlier than perceived or worse due to other reasons emanating from factors they have no control over.

Summing up

  • These words;fiancé and fiancée come from French language to mean people who have engaged.
  • Fiancé belongs to the masculine gender while fiancée belongs to the feminine gender.

 

  • emma

    Is there a difference in how these words are pronounced? I never knew there were two terms. I have always heard it pronounced as “fee-once-ay” for either gender, but now I’m not sure which that is.