Wednesday's Words


Sod Widows, Grass Widows, and Widos

29 January 2014
Census takers, law clerks, and other scribes occasionally delight us and confuse us with their euphemisms. The first pair of labels, from the 1800s and early 1900s, refer to two classes of women who managed their own lives.

Trusty Friends, Next Friends & Friends Who Are Actually Kinfolk

15 January 2014
We've seen the terms in many civil documents: A man gives power of attorney to "my trusty friend." Or a man appears in court saying he is the "next friend" of a married woman . . .