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Wife

is from the verb to weave. (Saxon wefan, Danish vœve, German weben, whence weib, a woman, one who works at the distaff.) Woman is called the distaff. Hence Dryden calls Anne “a distaff on the throne.” While a girl was spinning her wedding clothes she was simply a spinster; but when this task was done, and she was married, she became a wife, or one who had already woven her allotted task.

Alfred, in his will, speaks of his male and female descendants as those of the spear-side and those of the spindle-side, a distinction still observed by the Germans; and hence the effigies on graves of spears and spindles.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Wicliffe (John)
Wide-awake
Widenostrils
Widow
Widow (in Hudibras)
Widow Bird
Widow’s Cap
Widow’s Piano
Widow’s Port
Wieland
Wife
Wig
Wig (A)
Wig
Wight (Isle of)
Wigwam
Wild (Jonathan)
Wild Boar
Wild Boy of Hamelin
Wild Children
Wild-goose Chase