Adultery: A Comedy Routine

‎”Adultery” has got to be the most bamboozling word in the English language. Really, adultery? That’s the best word our language could come up with for bumping uglies with someone other than your partner? No wonder kids are so confused by adult conversations.

“What do adults do, Bobby?”

“Well, from what I gather, they do this one thing so often that they decided to name it after themselves. They call it… adultery.”

“Oh really, what’s that?”

“That’s what daddy does to the gardener when mommy’s not home.”


Adultery. The very term suggests that you’re not a real adult until you do it. Kids must sometimes wonder if adultery is what makes people true grown-ups since ‘adult’ is right there in the word.

After all, don’t carpenters do carpentry? Don’t jewelers make jewelry? And aren’t thieves defined by thievery? Shouldn’t adultery be the same? Of course not. Because English  doesn’t care about silly things like logic, meaning, or not confusing the hell out of children.

Of course, when adults do engage in adultery–and hopefully only adults can engage in adultery because if children can be adulterers, then we’re all lost–all kinds of linguistic redundancy ensues.

Think about it. Adults who ‘verb the adjective noun’ with someone other than their spouses are adult adulterers. They are adulterous adults. Imagine if we called carpenters who engage in carpentry–and what other freaking kinds of carpenters are there?–carpentrous carpenters...

That would just be stupid.

Like the word adultery. And Pete thinking his wife wouldn’t notice the grass stains on his tighty whities from his gland-to-gland combat with the gardener.

Furthermore, what’s the verb form of adultery anyway? Adultering?

“What are you doing after work, Pete?”

“Oh, I think I’ll go adulter the gardener a little bit and then head home.”

Literally no one says that.

Because it’s stupid.

So, now that we know the word adultery is utterly illogical, bewilderingly misleading, and needlessly confusing, how about we find an alternative, a new word that actually means what it says?

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to… paraspousery.

Now, you might be thinking “woah dude, that’s a mouthful.

Just like the married man I had last night.”

But bear with me.

Unlike adultery, whose meaning we can only guess at, and guess wrong, from the word itself, paraspousery’s meaning is right there in the word, like lust in a gardener’s johnson.

Para– means “alongside, beyond, or contrary to” and spouse means “person who gets half of your money when they leave you.”

And, of course, –ry means “a characteristic action that defines a person of a given type,” like jewelry and carpentry, and unlike the disgraceful linguistic trainwreck that is “adultery.”

Thus, to put it all together–like Pete’s wife did with what was going on with the gardener–paraspousery means going beyond or contrary to your spouse, namely, to do the horizontal hula.

Isn’t that the essence of ‘adultery’? It totally is. And it makes more sense than the American Mint.

[…that pun works on two levels, one deeper and more cynical than the other, but the fact that I even had to say that makes the joke as funny as Donald Trump at a Mexican family reunion. Yikes.]

In short, parapsousery means exactly what it says, has a fun ring to it, and best of all, it won’t confuse the children anymore. It will only mystify them, and if that’s not progress, I don’t know what is.


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