Defiantly Defined

So this blog is a bit different than I usually write. This week I’ve been obsessed with terminology. Have you ever stopped for a minute and thought about words? Where did they come from? How they got their meaning and if they fit? Well it hit me this week that I HATE the terms widow and widower. I think the definitions are ridiculous and need to be changed. Let’s look them over, shall we?


  1. a woman who has lost her spouse by death and has not remarried.

Ok so than you are no longer a widow if you remarry. Your loss is magically gone. Congratulations! What in gay hell is that?

Classy Example: a woman whose spouse is often away participating in a specified sport or activity. "a golf widow"

Maybe if her spouse was an idiot and golfed in a thunderstorm! Honestly with this!


  1. a last word or short last line of a paragraph falling at the top of a page or column and considered undesirable.


Ah yes…considered undesirable. Short like not whole. A broken sentence just like how us widowed people are broken right? This is ridiculous.


  1. become a widow or widower; lose one's spouse through death.

"he was recently widowed"

“Become” like someone asks “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and your answer is gleefully “A Widow”


Of course we have to always separate men and women. So guys here is our dictionary fate….



  1. a man who has lost his spouse by death and has not remarried.

I always understood most words that were nouns and ended in “er” showed action by the thing. So basically widower means “one who widows” like we caused it ourselves. Great! Add blame to the mix. Thanks dick-tionary!


Widow’s Peak

The term stems from the belief that hair growing to a point on the forehead – suggestive of the peak of a widow's hood – is an omen of early widowhood.[6] The use of peak in relation to hair dates from 1833.[7] The expression widow's peak dates from 1849.[7] The use of peak may refer to the beak or bill of a headdress, particularly the distinctive hood with a pointed piece in front – a biquoquet[8] – which widows wore as a hood of mourning dating from 1530.[7] Another explanation for the origin of the phrase suggests that it may be related to the mourning caps worn as early as the 16th century. A mourning cap or 'Mary Stuart Cap' is a cap which features a very distinctive triangular fold of cloth in the middle of the forehead, creating an artificial widow's peak. The use of peak referring to a point in the cloth covering the forehead dates to at least 1509 when it appears in Alexander Barclay’s The Shyp of Folys:

Well that’s a bad hair day. This omen is false because I never had a widow’s peak. My hair all just basically fell out in my 20s.  Where was my warning of early widowhood? So that myth is clearly debunked.


Widow’s Walk

widow's walk, also known as a widow's watch or roofwalk, is a railed rooftop platform often with a small enclosed cupolafrequently found on 19th-century North American coastal houses. The name is said to come from the wives of mariners, who would watch for their spouses' return, often in vain as the ocean took the lives of the mariners, leaving the women widows.[1] In other coastal communities, the platforms were called Captain's Walk, as they topped the homes of the more successful captains; supposedly, ship owners and captains would use them to search the horizon for ships due in port.

So should people avoid purchasing homes with widow’s walks? A girl can’t even enjoy a view without people judging. So dramatic.


Than there’s this gem:


Forestry? OMG! Why stop there? Great White Sharks didn’t make the list? Golf in a thunderstorm would fall into this category correct or does it have to be lumber based?

  • Widow maker (medicine), a nickname used to describe a highly stenotic left main coronary artery or proximal left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery of the heart

Just the coronary artery – Not cancer. Not HIV. Not liver failure…


Here’s where definitions take a disturbing turn:

Black widow spider

The prevalence of sexual cannibalism, a behaviour in which the female eats the male after mating, has inspired the common name"widow spiders".[8] This behaviour may promote the survival odds of the offspring;[9] however, females of some species only rarely show this behaviour, and much of the documented evidence for sexual cannibalism has been observed in laboratory cages where the males could not escape. Male black widow spiders tend to select their mates by determining if the female has eaten already to avoid being eaten themselves. They are able to tell if the female has fed by sensing chemicals in the web.[10][11]

Now that is a widower spider as far as I’m concerned!


Ok so this blog isn’t full of deep emotions and philosophical contemplations. Sometimes I just have to point out stupidity…




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  • julie roadknight
    commented 2019-11-19 12:09:37 -0800
    thank you Bryan for making me smile . my husband roger, the love of my life died suddenly 5 weeks ago . Roger was a linguist and loved words. he was my walking dictionary and would have loved reading your post.
    this ‘widow’ thing is a the most difficult journey i have ever been on.

    julie ( from australia)