Frog of the Day part three…

My own frog this time.

One of my students asked about ‘grass widows’ and I thought it was a ‘gräsanka’ in Swedish.

Here is the origin of the term, from Freedictionary:

Word History: The term grass widow cries out for explanation of what grass means and how grass widow came to have its varied though related senses. Grass probably refers to a bed of grass or hay as opposed to a real bed. This association would help explain the earliest recorded sense of the word (1528), “an unmarried woman who has lived with one or more men,” as well as the related senses “an abandoned mistress” and “the mother of an illegitimate child.” Later on, after the sense of grass had been obscured, people may have interpreted grass as equivalent to the figurative use of pasture, as in out to pasture. Hence grass widow could have developed the senses “a divorced or separated wife” or “a wife whose husband is temporarily absent.”
so it has nothing to do with golfing or marijuana after all…

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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