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"your other half"" or "your better half"

Posted by ESC on February 11, 2006

In Reply to: "Your other half"" or "your better half" posted by Leah on February 11, 2006

: The phrase, "finding or in search of "your other half"" or "your better half" in terms of relationships. Where did this phrase originate from? Did it originate from the Christian view of marriage? Or Aristophanes view of love from Platos Symposium? Or something else? Does anyone have another idea of the origin?

BETTER HALF, MY - "One's spouse, usually said by a man referring to his wife. Marriage is viewed as uniting two people into a single entity - a couple - of which each person is half. The person using the phrase could really respect his partner's contribution to the marriage, or could be saying it in a patronizing fashion. In either event, the expression was in use by 1590, when Sir Philip Sidney (in 'The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia') has Argalus enter the scene and, 'forcing up (the best he could) his feeble voice, My deare, my deare, my better halfe (said he) I finde I must now leave thee." From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).