better half

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(one's) better half

One's spouse or romantic partner. I'd love to come out with you guys after work, but I'd better check in with my better half to make sure we don't have any plans for this evening. The work retreat is meant to be for couples, so be sure to bring your better half!
See also: better, half

better half

1. Also, better part. The larger amount or majority of something, as in I won't be long; the better half of this job is complete, or I have spent the better part of my life in this city. Sir Philip Sidney used the first term in Arcadia (1580): "I ... shall think the better half of it already achieved." The variant appears in a well-known proverb, discretion is the better part of valor.
2. Also, my better half. One's (my) spouse, as in I'm not sure if we can go; I'll have to check with my better half. Originally this expression meant "a close friend or lover," and by the 16th century it referred to either a wife or lover. Sidney used it in this way, again in Arcadia: "My dear, my better half (said he), I find I must now leave thee." Today it tends to be used lightly for either husband or wife. "Late 1500s"
See also: better, half

better half, my

My spouse, usually referring to one’s wife. The term dates from the sixteenth century and originally signified a close friend or lover. Indeed, much earlier the Roman poet Horace called his friend animae dimidium meae, describing an intimacy in which two friends are considered the halves of one whole. The Elizabethans used it for a wife (Sir Philip Sidney in Arcadia, 1590) or lover (Shakespeare, Sonnet 39, ca. 1600). It continued to be used seriously through the eighteenth century and then began to be used more in a jocular or ironic way, as it is today.
See also: better
References in classic literature ?
I suppose she thinks I am a prodigal,' pursued he, observing that I was unwilling to reply, 'and concludes that I shall have but little worldly goods wherewith to endow my better half? If so, you must tell her that my property is mostly entailed, and I cannot get rid of it.
Not only am I now talking to small balls of fur as my intellectual equal but I seem to be treating them as if my better half and I were their parents.
"Bekker (Norma Kuhling) takes drastic action to keep Rhodes (Colin Donnell) from leaving Med for good," the synopsis for "Be My Better Half" teases.
I do it alone because my not-so-better half can't deal with the fact I take my time and think about what I actually need/want for the days ahead (what a nightmare, eh?) Unlike some (him) I don't just buy what I think I need and then leave my better half to throw it out days later.
So on the polar expedition went as I shouted to my better half clothes-shopping on the netbook in the warmth of the living room, "I'm going inside and I may be some time!" Next up were some abandoned ice pops from a good summer one year, a bag of some yellow things on sticks (unidentified), some Linda McCartney pies which I'm sure were bought when she was alive and finally, salvation...
I can't shout at the kids so at home my better half becomes the bed-time baddy.
For the record, I knew I would miss my better half but I was just being the bigger man.
"She was the better half of me and now my better half is gone, I'm totally devastated."
My better half was out the door so fast on Wednesday night I mistook him for Speedy Gonzales.
Arthur, my better half, knew what it was, and he, too, told me it was delicious and that I can make it anytime I want to.
Meanwhile, Tony McCoy had been declared to ride Tanikos in the Casino 36 Classic Handicap Chase but failed to weigh out, as he was also engaged to ride Be My Better Half at Uttoxeter.
BETTING on the Grand National - the day after the royal wedding - is set to go through the roof, with horses called Be My Royal, King On The Run and Be My Better Half in the running.
I really need it--I had it put away, but my better half neatened my collection so now I can't find it.--Leo & Gayle Fitzpatrick, 5216 Gaston Rd., Vernon, FL; shilohgrace6@wm connect.com
Cut to May 2002, the basement ballroom of the Hyatt Hotel ("Isn't that elegant," my better half, Charles, observes dryly), and Barney--now one of the dozen most influential members of Congress--has us alternately convulsed with laughter and challenged to become even more partisan.
I got my better half from here," he said at the closing ceremony.