Podcast 10 – The wife

Podcast 10 – The wife

The wife

Hi, today’s topic is all about slang words for “wife”.

In England we have many different words for “wife” but some of these are used in different situations. Let’s go through some of the most popular ones.

Spouse means wife. But spouse is very formal, and you usually only hear spouse when you are completing important documents. For example on the form it may say “spouse name” or “how long have you and your spouse been married”. But you would never use the word “spouse” in a conversation with your friends. If I said “how is your spouse these days” or “where is your spouse today” it would sound very weird.

You can call your wife your partner. This is because you share everything and you work together, so you and your wife are partners in life. It is common for people to say “how is your partner?” and it is common for people to say “I’d like you to meet my partner” when they are introducing their wife. Personally, I don’t like this word,  as “partner” can also mean someone who you do business with.

Many husbands refer to their wife as “the other half”. This is because some people think when you are married you become one person. So the husband is one half, and the wife is the other half, of a whole person.  So if you go somewhere alone it’s common for people to say “where is your other half”.  Some husbands actually give their wife a compliment and say “my better half”. For example if you were introducing your wife to someone, you could say “this is my better half”. This is actually a nice thing to say. Because the husband is saying that his wife is the best part of him.

Some people call their wife “wifey”. This means the same thing as wife, but “wifey” is a cute way to say it. It’s usually just used in front of close friends and family. So it’s common for your mum to say “how is your wifey”.

Misses (Mrs) also means wife and is a very common word in England. This is because in England when a woman is married she becomes Misses. For example if Miss Jones gets married to Mr smith she would become misses (Mrs) smith. So people often ask you “how is your misses?”  or “your misses looks very beautiful”.

There are a few terms that people would only say around their friends. They would not want their wife to hear. First English people tend to call their wife “my old lady”. Sometimes people say this out of love, and it’s because it’s the person that they want to grow old with. But many women don’t like to be called old. So most people would only say this around their friends. For example “I’m going out with the old lady tomorrow” which means I’m going out with my wife tomorrow.

Your friends may also call your wife “the boss”. For example “where is the boss today”? They will only say this if they think that the wife controls that man’s life. For example if your wife always makes you come home early or shouts at you then your friends may call your wife “the boss”. They may say things like “what time does the boss expect you home today”, which means what time do you have to go home to your wife.

Finally some men call their wife “the old ball and chain”. In old times an iron ball and chain were attached to the legs of prisoners. So people call their wife’s “the old ball and chain” because they think their wife takes away their freedom and stops them from doing the things they want to do. Most people use this as a joke, they love their wife really but they may say this to their friends. For example “I’m going out with the old ball and chain tomorrow”.  If somebody says “how is the old ball and chain” this just means “how is your wife”.  Unless your wife knows you are joking I would not recommend you say this in front of you wife as many wife’s would be offended.

There are many other words for wife but I believe these are the most common words.

I hope this helps you. You can view this podcast again at our website www.proofessor.co.uk. We also have this podcast in written form on our website in case you didn’t understand anything that I said.

Bye for now

Summarised vocab

1)      Spouse  = Very formal way to say wife.

2)      My partner  = wife

3)      The other half  = wife (the other half of me)

4)      My better half  = A nice way to say wife. (my wife is the better half of me)

5)      Wifey = cute way to say wife (usually used in front of family and close friends)

6)      My Misses = my wife

7)      My old lady = my wife (not such a nice way to say it. Used many in front of friends)

8)      The boss = the wife (when a wife controls the husband, people may call her the boss)

9)      The old ball and chain = wife (usually said as a joke to mean wife takes away freedom)

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