In Reply to: The wife posted by h.geater on July 15, 2009 at 17:23:
: Where did the term "the wife" come from?
Because the word "wife" is very old and well understood, I suppose that h.geater may be asking about the colloquial use of "the wife" to mean "my wife," or occasionally anyone's wife, without the usual possessive pronoun. But I'm not sure why the question is asked. Is it to learn when the colloquialism became common? I'm not sure that could ever be pinned down. "The invitation was addressed only to him, but he brought the wife along anyway." Is that an uncommon usage? I doubt it. How about, "I've got to get home; the wife will be waiting"?