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"become an item"

Posted by R. Berg on December 05, 2001

In Reply to: What does "become an item" mean? posted by ESC on December 05, 2001

: : : I'm a Chinese in Beijing,and I'm crazy about English.When I read a trial report(Michigan v. Lesko: Husband Tried for Missing Woman's Murder) of,I came across an expression which cannot be found in any dictionary.

: : : In the case,the husband was accused of murdering his wife.When accounting some of the background information,the report says:
: : :
: : : "Albert(husband) and Cindy(wife) met in the early 1980's. They quickly became an item and moved in together."

: : : After searching using,"become an item" seems quite popular.what does it (and "move in") mean.

: : : thank you for your help

: : It means that Albert and Cindy became a couple. It means that they were usually seen in the company of one another, so much so that others would have every reason to conclude that they were lovers or at least extremely good friends. The fact that they "moved in together" means that they began a living arrangement that involved the sharing of the same home. They began to live together, as if they were married.

: One meaning for "an item" is a "romantically involved couple," according to Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 2, H-O by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994. I think it has to do with a new couple being an item or topic of conversation. People talk about them. "Moving in" is "living together" without being married.

Possibly "become an item" became a phrase because when two celebrities form a romantic relationship, gossip columnists write about them: they are news, and their names appear together in print. "Move in" also has the ordinary meaning of taking up a new residence. "I found an apartment for rent, paid the deposit, and moved in."

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