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Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: California widow

California widow (kal-i-FOR-nee-uh WI-doh) - n., a married woman whose husband has been absent for an extended period.


An Americanism for the older term grass widow, only without the sense of being an abandoned mistress but strictly an abandoned wife. This variation bubbled up in the zeitgeist shortly after the California Gold Rush of 1849, which did indeed draw many men to come without their wives (as well as bachelors). Since those times, the term has taken on some of the derogatory connotations of grass widow, with a slight twist, as in the following saying:

She's a California widow -- while her husband's away, she will play.

---L.
Tags: american, c, noun
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