wife

(redirected from old wives' tale)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

wife

a married woman.

WIFE, domestic relations. A woman who has a husband.
     2. A wife, as such, possesses rights and is liable to obligations. These will be considered. 1st. She may make contracts for the purchase of real estate for her own benefit, unless her husband expressly dissents. 6 Binn. R. 427. And she is entitled to a legacy directly given to her for her separate use. 6 Serg. & Rawle, R. 467. In some places, by statutory provision, she may act as a feme sole trader, and as such acquire personal property. 2 Serg. & Rawle, R. 289.
     3. 2d. She may in Pennsylvania, and in most other states, convey her interest in her own or her husband's lands by deed acknowledged in a form prescribed by law. 8 Dowl. R. 630.
     4.-3d. She is under obligation to love, honor and obey her husband and is bound to follow him wherever he may desire to establish himself: 5 N. S. 60; (it is presumed not out of the boundaries of the United States,) unless the husband, by acts of injustice and such as are contrary to his marital duties, renders her life or happiness insecure.
     5.-4th. She is not liable for any obligations she enters into to pay money on any contract she makes, while she lives with her husband; she is presumed in such case to act as the agent of her husband. Chitty, Contr. 43
     6.-5th. The incapacities of femes covert, apply to their civil rights, and are intended for their protection and interest. Their political rights stand upon different grounds, they can, therefore, acquire and lose a national character. These rights stand upon the general principles of the law of nations. Harp. Eq. R. 5 3 Pet. R. 242.
     7.-6th. A wife, like all other persons, when she acts with freedom, may be punished for her criminal acts. But the law presumes, when she commits in his presence a crime, not malum in se, as murder or treason, that she acts by the command and coercion of her husband, and, upon this ground, she is exempted from punishment. Rose. on Cr. Ev. 785. But this is only a presumption of law, and if it appears, upon the evidence, that she did not in fact commit the act under compulsion, but was herself a principal actor and inciter in it, she may be punished. 1 Hale, P. C. 516; 1 Russ. on Cr. 16, 20. Vide Contract; Divorce; Husband; Incapacity; Marriage; Necessaries; Parties to actions; Parties to contracts; Women and, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index,

References in periodicals archive ?
While rules-of-thumb, like some old wives' tales, can have a modicum of truth, they can be significantly wild off the mark in valuing any given brand or distributor operation.
As to the old wives' tale, if you do live in a fluctuating climate and ant to put your piano near an exterior wall, make sure the wall is well insulated and any nearby windows well sealed.
"We had no intention of finding out what we were having but an old wives' tale indicated we were having a little girl.
Old Wives' Tale, The Novel by Arnold BENNETT, published in 1908.
According to an old wives' tale this can be linked to babies being born with an above-average amount of hair.
Experts finally diagnosed her condition - antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) - and told her that the "old wives' tale" about aspirin had actually worked.
There is an old wives' tale that suggests that the sound of Marc Tracy talking heatedly about sports will countervail bad weather.
A NO, it's just an old wives' tale. There is no evidence calcium deficiency during pregnancy affects the strength of your teeth.
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine also found that the old wives' tale about morning sickness being a sign of a healthy pregnancy may be true.
An old wives' tale claims that drinking a vile- sounding concoction of gelatine and water will help keep nails supple,but this has no scientific basis.
Of the many playhouse dramas he must have had a hand in, only four can be ascribed to him with certainty: The Battle of Alcazar (1594), The Old Wives' Tale (1595), Edward I (1593), and The Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe (1599).