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Chris -- 2018-04-11
A new Language Log post expands on the eggcorn for the biblical helpmeet. It doesn’t take much imagination to see where this could go next. Kind of unfortunate when you find it used in expositions of a woman’s traditional role. I’ve left out the ones that make a link to Adam’s rib.
Ways to be a help meat to your husband
Preaching for the ladies
By the same token the wife has the distinct obligation of being a help-meat to her husband.
It’s important to keep “roles” in the marriage: husband – is a head an a provider; wife – is a help-meat to her husband.
Stand by your man
Fits like a glove when food is the subject. I’m not sure about the last one – might be a vegetarian menu?
Dietary fibers promote healthy digestive systems. We are always looking for a help meat to our digestive problems.
Araya’s doing a wonderful job without a help meat to bring out wonderful buffet at a low price of $9.89 (tax included).
Edit: It’s hard to believe that the perps might verily consider the distaff partner as meat, but who knows. Flesh of my flesh? Other possibilities might include “the one who helps with the cooking”? A source of sustenance? I suspect these are too literal still. More hits:
You. My Wife, who I don’t yet know…you, my helpmeat…
I had not been long matured in the thought that I ought to marry, when there was an upcast from Providence, showing a good will towards mine intent. Going now and then on the Sunday to take a dish of tea with James Hobart and his helpmeat, for she was truly that, it fell out one night that a decent woman of the widow gender not too well stricken in years for me also was there at her tea.
Autobiographical epistle, 1836
the widow gender? not too well stricken in years?
Last edited by burred (2011-12-11 21:02:31)