grass widow

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grass widow

1. A woman who lives apart from her spouse for long periods due to a job location or other circumstances. The politician's wife has become a grass widow ever since he started campaigning for office.
2. A woman who is divorced, separated, or estranged from or abandoned by her spouse. If you never get married, you'll never have to worry about becoming a grass widow.
3. A mistress who is abandoned by her lover. The town referred to Judy as a grass widow after the man she was seeing decided to return to his wife.
4. An unmarried mother. When they discovered that Maria had had her son out of wedlock, they cruelly called her a grass widow.
See also: grass, widow

grass widow

a woman abandoned by her husband. (The origin of this is not clear.) Jane's husband isn't dead, but she's a widow just the same—a grass widow. Bill ran off and left Mary a grass widow.
See also: grass, widow

grass widow

A woman who is separated from her husband, either by divorce or temporary absence. For example, She's a grass widow these days, with Herb traveling to golf tournaments all over the country . The expression dates from the 16th century, when it referred to the mother of an illegitimate child, grass presumably alluding to the open-air setting of the child's conception.
See also: grass, widow

grass widow

A woman temporarily or permanently separated from her husband. Many times during and after the American West was settled, farmers decided that they had enough of such a bleak life, whereupon they left their wives and children. These abandoned women were known as grass widows, left out to grass on the Great Plains. (The phrase is, however, much older. It was first used in 16th-century England to describe women of easy virtue who “slept” on beds of grass instead of mattresses and bed linen.) “Grass widow” came to be applied to the wives of traveling salesmen, professional athletes, and other men who spent much of their year on the road. As that usage became obsolete, similar phrases appeared: golf widow, fishing or hunting widow, and any other sport that claimed their hubby's attention.
See also: grass, widow
References in periodicals archive ?
Remarriage or the establishment of an independent household was not a possibility for all "grass widows," a popular term for deserted and divorced women.
Schwartzberg, "Grass Widows, Barbarians, and Bigamists: Fluid Marriage in Late Nineteenth-Century America" (Ph.D.
For additional explanation of size of the Widows' Original and Certificate series, see Schwartzberg, "Grass Widows, Barbarians, and Bigamists," chapter five.
"Grass widows" included women "separated from [their] husband[s], either permanently or temporarily for some reason other than death." A certain vagueness characterized the term; it might apply to the divorced, it might refer to a discarded mistress or an unmarried woman with children, and it could apply to men--"grass widowers." Frederic G.
(44) Because Hilderbrand traveled for his work as a steamfitter, Eliza apparently experienced life as a grass widow more than once.