marry above (oneself)

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marry above (oneself)

To marry someone who is of a higher social class or standing than oneself. A: "I hear that the local fishmonger's daughter is betrothed to a rich foreign lawyer!" B: "My word, she's certainly marrying above herself, isn't she?" For all the talk that social classes have been wiped away in recent years, you will still find people who believe one can't or shouldn't marry above oneself.
See also: above, marry
References in periodicals archive ?
Using Antony and Cleopatra, The Tempest, and The Devil's Law-Case as exploratory texts, Hall investigates the ways in which the colonialist enterprise combines with the economics of marriage to destabilize class boundaries within England: Foreign booty enables merchants to buy the signs of nobility and to marry above themselves.