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Denotation vs. Connotation

fishwife

[fish-wahyf] /ˈfɪʃˌwaɪf/
noun, plural fishwives.
1.
a woman who sells fish.
2.
a coarse-mannered, vulgar-tongued woman.
Origin of fishwife
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English fisshwyf. See fish, wife
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fishwife
Historical Examples
  • The boy was placed at the helm, and the fishwife and her brother took the oars.

    The Heir of Kilfinnan W.H.G. Kingston
  • “But sure, they are our fellow-creatures, brother Shane,” exclaimed the fishwife.

    The Heir of Kilfinnan W.H.G. Kingston
  • For this, Clio has abused me in language less befitting a Muse than a fishwife.

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
  • In another Moment, except Help come, the fishwife will be no more.

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • The fishwife again and again urged her brother to hasten his work, so eager was she to reach the wreck.

    The Heir of Kilfinnan W.H.G. Kingston
  • You will understand that I am not the man to wrangle like a fishwife.

    The Bishop's Apron W. Somerset Maugham
  • He does not want to marry her; and for any other purpose a pretty woman is a pretty woman, be she duchess or fishwife.

    Red as a Rose is She Rhoda Broughton
  • He finally stopped looking at the fishwife—he met his companion's enquiry.

    What Maisie Knew Henry James
  • It was about this time that Giorgione's ladylove won fame by discarding him in that foolish, fishwife fashion.

  • "She canna lie in the wind's eye, for as clever as she is," answered a fishwife.

    Christie Johnstone Charles Reade
British Dictionary definitions for fishwife

fishwife

/ˈfɪʃˌwaɪf/
noun (pl) -wives
1.
a woman who sells fish
2.
a coarse scolding woman
Derived Forms
fishwifely, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fishwife
n.

1520s, from fish (n.) + wife in the "woman" sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fishwife

fishwife

noun

The wife of a homosexual man (1970s+ Homosexuals)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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20
19
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