One day, about four years ago, back when I was still married, my then wife and I were driving down Scottsdale Road, in Scottsdale, Arizona—and we saw two young men walking down the road laughing and goofing off. She turned to me, pointing at the men and exclaimed, “Aw, look…they are in one happy bromance.” I nearly skidded the car to a halt, one because I had never heard that terminology applied to two men, and two because it sounded so wrong right from the get-go in my mind. ‘Bro’ and ‘mance,’ combined to make one sick word: Bromance.
We actually had a little argument that night, about the connotation of this popular culture superlative and adage. I adamantly defended my stance on the topic, which was that bromance sounded like the term brother and romance combined, and really equated to some sick form of intimate, brotherly love gone WAY too far! She argued as to what the real popular culture definition is: Two guys that share an affectionate bond, but that are in no way intimate with one another. Still, if you ask me, the term mentally strikes me as the latter. But definitions are definitions, no matter how wrong they may seem.
Curious, I pulled up the term on Wikipedia, and she was right. They say on there that it can be defined as the following. “A bromance or man-crush is a close but non-sexual relationship between two (or more) men, a form of homosocial intimacy. Coined in the 1990s, the term has typically referred to a relationship between heterosexuals influenced by the effect of second wave feminism in the United States or related movements elsewhere in the world as a lot of the younger males, who are more emotionally expressive and responsive than previous generations, were brought up by feminist mothers of the 1970s.
“Bromance” is a portmanteau of the words “bro” or “brother” and “romance.” Editor Dave Carnie coined the term in the skateboard magazine Big Brother in the 1990s to refer specifically to the sort of relationships that develop between skaters who spent a great deal of time together.”
Turns out she was correct in the end. But still, I have trouble envisioning or using this word whatsoever. It is just because I feel it is wrong to combine brother and romance into some offbeat grammatical concoction that even though it has no harm, it sounds daftly mistaken. But then again, that’s just my two cents.