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obsolete A property or estate owned by a woman but controlled by her husband during her life and then by her family after her death. He has a vast property; it is but an apron-string hold, though, and he shall be dispossessed of it when she passes.
See also: hold
obsolete A property or estate owned by a woman but controlled by her husband during her life and then by her family after her death. He has a vast property; it is but an apron-string tenure, though, and he shall be dispossessed of it when she passes.
loosen the apron strings
To lessen the extent to which someone controls, influences, or monitors someone else, especially parents in relation to their children. Mothers these days are so fussy about their kids, having to know where they are at every second of the day. They would really do well to loosen the apron strings a little, if you ask me! Sending kids to summer camps has been in decline in recent years, as parents have become less and less inclined to loosen the apron strings.
figurative That which binds a woman to her husband or child. The phrase likely alludes to "apron-string tenure," a 17th century law by which a husband could control his wife's property (and her family's) during her lifetime. Often used in the phrase "tied to (one's) apron string(s)." I can't believe how much Michael is tied to his mother's apron string! That's the only explanation for him still living at home at age 40!
tied to one's mother's apron strings
Fig. dominated by one's mother; dependent on one's mother. Tom is still tied to his mother's apron strings. Isn't he a little old to be tied to his mother's apron strings?
be tied to your mother's apron strings
if someone, usually a man, is tied to their mother's apron strings, they still need their mother and cannot think or act independently He's 30 but he's still tied to his mother's apron strings.
tied to apron strings
Wholly dependent on or controlled by a woman, especially one's mother or wife. For example, At 25, he was still too tied to her apron strings to get an apartment of his own. This expression, dating from the early 1800s, probably alluded to apron-string tenure, a 17th-century law that allowed a husband to control his wife's and her family's property during her lifetime.
tied to his mother's apron strings
Momma's boy. An adult male deeply attached to his mother, dating from the era when mothers (and other homemakers and housekeepers) wore aprons.