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Looking for a word...

I need a word... and my brain and thesaurus are not supplying it. Perhaps my wordy friends can help me. :)

Say you make a deal with someone--"you promise to do a, b, and c, and in return I swear I will do x, y, and z, and we are bound to each other until those conditions have been fulfilled"--what would you call that arrangement?

"Deal" seems to informal. I've considered "oath," "vow," and "pact" but none of those feels quite right. I have this sense there's some other word that fits better. Help?

Edit: Because perhaps it needs more clarification, the deal in question is between a human and a god, which is why a lot of the regular words like "deal" and "contract" don't seem quite... powerful enough?

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Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
sbennettwealer
Aug. 6th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
Covenant?
dqg_neal
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
Well technically thats just a contract.
But I like using terms like Geas
libation
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:44 pm (UTC)
I second geas.

But I don't second-guess.

Cheesy, I know!
sealgair
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
...and 'geas' was the word I immediatly thought of. (Even if today I can't spell.) So I'm third-ing the vote. :D
megancrewe
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
Wrong mythological background, unfortunately! I may use contract, but it sounds so... business-like. :)
skutir
Aug. 6th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
I think "deal" is fine. Otherwise you could say "agreement," or "promise" or even "arrangement." But I actually like deal best of all of these, it's the most natural word and I think it implies the obligations of friendship and personal loyalty vs. legalities, which people don't mind navigating out of.
megancrewe
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
Deal is definitely the closest in meaning, but it's just that the deal in question is between a human and a god, and it just sounds wrong to me to think of someone saying something like, "Well, I have this deal with Zeus" or whatever. Because there's a lot of weight to it, beyond just one's word.
dqg_neal
Aug. 6th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
Well convenant would be the oath made to a god.
Berit is the word in Hebrew, but since you mentioned Zeus, the word would be diathēkē.

robinellen
Aug. 6th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
Marriage? Tee-hee...bound? Blood-oath? (don't quite know if that's any different from a plain oath)...heart-sworn-promise?
latteya
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
"Doomed to end badly" is what I call it... ;)
megancrewe
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
Ha! Well, there is that... ;)
meganfrazer
Aug. 6th, 2008 05:42 pm (UTC)
a pact?
dlandon
Aug. 6th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
a geas?
that work?
anne_tosa
Aug. 6th, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
"Covenant" is the usual term for deity-human contracts.
tastycactuar
Aug. 6th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
I second 'geas' and 'covenant', although technincally I think covenant would be better.
dawn_metcalf
Aug. 6th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
A "tontine" would be a good word if this is a last-survivor kind of deal; with a g-d, I'd say a "covenant" or -- if it involves being your word against your will -- then "geas" is appropriate.

"Pact" is a fine word, especially if you cap it!
dawn_metcalf
Aug. 6th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
P.S. Have you ever used this? It's great for just this sort of thing!!
sangrealmazimur
Aug. 6th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
agreement?
sangrealmazimur
Aug. 6th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
spiritual agreement?
astres
Aug. 6th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
In business it's called tied selling (I'll buy from you if you buy from me).

In Tamora Pierce's Trickster books she calls the favour to the human a boon.

Bond?

Agent/Principal Contract?

Ughh, too much business and too much law.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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