|About | Media | Search | Contact|
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
1. The male line of descent.
2. The male part of a family, group, etc.
From Old English spere-healfe. Earliest documented use: 1861.
Why the term “spear side” to refer to the male line of descent? It’s not known if there are any Freudian allusions. Apparently, the term arose because in olden times men performed the spear business, i.e., fighting. A variation of the term, sword side, is also used. The female counterpart is distaff side or spindle side. The term for the side of a family that spins tales is the Shake spear side.
“If I wanted to be facetious, I would declare that I am descended from Turing’s machine on my spear side, and from a library on my spindle side.”
Stanislaw Lem; Imaginary Magnitude; Harcourt Brace; 1981.
“With [Gabby] Logan being lined up as one of the faces of BBC Sport and with Jacqui Oatley doing a decent job on Match of the Day, the distaff side may soon equalise against the spear side.”
Andrew Tong; Captain Terry Is Subjected to Fresh Trial by Gabby; The Independent on Sunday (London, UK); May 6, 2007.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:An idea or institution may arise for one reason and be maintained for quite a different reason. -Joseph McCabe, writer, speaker, and former priest (12 Nov 1867-1955)