Word Ways


John Campbell


Poor widows! Three out of four women survive their husbands. In some cultures remarriage is taboo. In other cultures the widow is (was) burned on the funeral pyre of her husband. Yet the word has made a major contribution to the language. The root sense of the word means 'divided from.' In card playing, a widow is an extra hand. In printing, a widow is a line separated from the rest of the text. The very poisonous black widow spider was so named because the female sometimes eats its mate. See if you can match up the following phrases with their definitions. Answers can be found in Answers and Solutions at the end of the issue.