Meaning Please (flagged)


What is the meaning of "the old ball and  chain"? How do I  use it in a sentence?

edited Mar 28 '13 at 04:34 Sanjay Expert

3 answers


Literally, a ball and chain is an old device used to keep prisoners from running away. A large, heavy iron ball would be chained to a leg which would limit the speed at which they could run.

'The old ball and chain' is used, usually tongue in cheek, as a description of a person's wife. "The old ball and chain won't let me go out and party with my friends."

link comment edited Mar 27 '13 at 19:07 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

But Sanjay! Do not use this term to refer to your new bride. If you do, your long, happy life together might become your short, sad life while she enjoys many happy years as a widow.

link answered Mar 27 '13 at 19:00 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

Excellent advice! Go with 'my better half.'

Lewis NeidhardtMar 27 '13 at 19:08

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John Mortimer's character Rumpole used to refer to his wife as SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed).

link comment answered Mar 28 '13 at 11:24 Simon Jones Contributor

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