Alewife



a North American fish, Alosa pseudoharengus, resembling a small shad.
a woman who owns or operates an alehouse.
Historical Examples

They went into the tavern and the alewife set her best brew before them, and presently slipped out to seek her gossips.
Long Will Florence Converse

There be espiers set in every lane and the highway, said the alewife.
Long Will Florence Converse

Joan (passim), a generic name for an alewife, strumpet, and the like: see Doctour Double Ale and next entry.
Early English Dramatists–Recently Recovered “Lost” Tudor Plays with some others Various

Calote had caught the withered bough when it fell, and made off with it under the alewife’s very nose.
Long Will Florence Converse

Among those with a familiar appearance were the sturgeon, perch, and pike, and a small fish resembling our alewife.
Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar Life Thomas Wallace Knox

The Menhaden make their appearance in the spring with the arrival of the shad, alewife, blue-fish, and weak-fish.
Fast Nine Alan Douglas

Bunch (Mother), an alewife, mentioned by Dekker in his drama called Satiromastix .
Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

alewife in old English was applied to the women, usually very stout dames, who kept alehouses.
The Log of the Sun William Beebe

noun (pl) -wives
a North American fish, Pomolobus pseudoharengus, similar to the herring Clupea harengus: family Clupeidae (herrings)
n.

herring-like fish of North America, 1630s, named from the word for female tavern keepers (late 14c.), from ale + wife; the fish so called in reference to its large abdomen.

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