Circumcision is an important symbolic practice that involves parenting and intergenerational transmission. Nevertheless, previous research has not investigated what it actually means to the partners, its significance in countries where Muslims are minorities and — above all — if people marry outside their own religious group. Through an analysis of partners’ narratives, the article explores the meaning attributed to circumcision by mixed couples (where one partner has a Muslim background and the other a Christian one) living in Belgium, France and Italy. A kaleidoscope of meanings shapes the choice to circumcise : medicalisation, patrilineality, ethnicity and religion. The findings demonstrate how : 1) through the medicalisation of the practice, partners apparently ‘de-culturalise’ circumcision, ‘universalising’ its benefit for the male body. Thanks to the role of a medical expert they legitimate their choice recalling the ‘authority of science’; 2) when the Muslim partner is the man, circumcision represents a physical connection that the father wants to maintain ; 3) circumcision is a ‘strong’ marker of ethnicity, often disentangled from religion. It therefore emerges as a tangible act that connects social rites, the family of origin and cultural belonging. These motivations offer a new insight into the partners’ practices to counter the ‘losing’ of the minority background.