What, for the longest time, western culture (and others) taught that women were supposed to be. They stay home, clean, raise the children, and have dinner ready for their husband when he came home. They might be lucky enough to be given some spending money to go buy a new dress or some makeup. But they never question their master, their husband.

Some women still do this, though the number is decreasing.

Civil War term for a small sewing kit.

JUST A HOUSEWIFE

Hello, Mrs. Jones, I'm just calling to say,
I'm sorry I screamed when you phoned me today.
No, I didn't get angry that your call came at four
Just as twelve yelling children burst in through my door.
It's just that my day has been somewhat stressed
I've been on the go since the moment I dressed
I've been washing, and ironing, and hanging a gate.
And preparing a multi-course meal to serve eight.
I've sewn a dance costume my daughter needs Sunday,
And typed up the minutes for the meeting on Monday.
I've baked dozens of cakes for the PTA stall
Took the cat to the vets, and cleaned the church hall
No, the reason I snapped and I called you a pain
Was not 'cause you asked for my help yet again.
The comment that got me, and drove me berserk
Was ... "I'm sure you'll have time, 'cause I know you don't work."

author unknown

House"wife` (?), n. [House + wife. Cf. Hussy.]

1.

The wife of a householder; the mistress of a family; the female head of a household.

Shak.

He a good husband, a good housewife she. Dryden.

2. (Usually pronounced .) [See Hussy, in this sense.]

A little case or bag for materials used in sewing, and for other articles of female work; -- called also hussy.

[Written also huswife.]

P. Skelton.

3.

A hussy.

[R.] [Usually written huswife.]

Shak.

Sailor's housewife, a ditty-bag.

© Webster 1913.


House"wife` (?), House"wive` (?), v. t.

To manage with skill and economy, as a housewife or other female manager; to economize.

Conferred those moneys on the nuns, which since they have well housewived. Fuller.

© Webster 1913.

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