I'm quite aware of the suffix -hood forming nouns.

-hood - Denoting a condition or quality.

As we all are aware of, parenthood means the state of being a parent. And so sisterhood, childhood and brotherhood and the list goes on. Well, each definition either refers to being in that state, relationship between the similar group, or the responsibility involving a person in that -hood.

But then, is loverhood possible? The state of being in love, or relationship between lovers (as sisters in sisterhood) or being a responsible (?) lover (which sets me an example in loverhood -as it is possible in parenthood).

My homework: Urban Dictionary and Wikitionary mentions it. The former one emphasizes more on females, the latter one sounds okay but it's Wikitionary -you and I can edit it! Also, those are not the sources we generally consider as authentic as OED, M-W, Collins and McM, which all results nothing for that search word.

I also checked the list of words ending with -hood (puppyhood was surprising!) but there as well, I don't find loverhood.

If not, what's the term (and not a phrase).

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    That is a really interesting question and I am looking forward to seeing an answer to it. recently I also wondering if "familyhood" is possible or not. Apr 17, 2014 at 5:02
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    You have a good sense of this suffix. In my opinion, it can be attached to just about anything and "loverhood" would not be the strangest such creation I've seen. That said, I can't think of an example where it wouldn't be simpler to just say "love". Apr 17, 2014 at 7:13
  • What you are basically asking is how productive this suffix is. Laurie Bauer's 'English Word Formation' is a useful resource for answering this sort of question.
    – neubau
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:45

2 Answers 2


There are two separate questions here.

The first question: is the word 'loverhood' a recognized English idiom? The answer is no, or at least, if it is one, it is not a common one in American English (of which I am a native speaker).

The second question: if I use the word 'loverhood' to denote the condition or quality of being a lover, will fluent English speakers understand my meaning? The answer is yes: the suffix '-hood' can be used to create arbitrary neologisms; it is not limited to a specific set of existing uses. So 'loverhood,' in an appropriate context, will be understood as an appropriate neologism.

A good way to test both of these propositions is to run a search in Google Books (not in regular Google). A quick search finds 977 hits for "loverhood," and many of the results on the first page are translations from another language.

This confirms both that the word is not common in idiomatic English, and that it can be used when necessary to convey an unusual meaning--for example, translating a difficult-to-translate Persian word or concept.


According to Longman DCE - hood can mean a period of time as in childhood or being in the state of as in parenthood or belonging to a group as in priesthood. But considering the enormous richness of the English vocabulary I don' t think it urgent to form a new word such as loverhood. " He is in loverhood" doesn't say more than "he is in love" and the latter is considerably shorter. I don't think that he community of speakers would adopt the new expression.

  • He's in loverhood does not say more than he's in love' - agreed but then what about *In their loverhood, he was the one faithful and too much concerned about their relationship. If loverhood was the recognized word there, it'd have made better sense. What say?
    – Maulik V
    Apr 17, 2014 at 11:35
  • @Maulik Actually I can't say anything against this use of your formation. Perhaps others imitate this use. One could say in their "love affaire" or in their " relationship" or "in the time of their relationship".
    – rogermue
    Apr 17, 2014 at 11:42

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