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distaff side

the female side of a family (opposed to spear side).
Origin of distaff side
First recorded in 1885-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for distaff side
Historical Examples
  • On the distaff side, the thing is too obvious to need exposition.

    The American Credo George Jean Nathan
  • Though they do say that the Cawdors have gipsy blood on the distaff side.

    A Tatter of Scarlet S. R. Crockett
  • Jean had always told her that this came from the distaff side of the family.

    Kit of Greenacre Farm

    Izola Forrester
  • It would have been too humiliating to have allied to our family, even on the distaff side, a family both poor and of no account.

  • Well, I do not grudge the family if, as I believe is the case, it chiefly ranks upon the distaff side.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • He was a member of a very prominent English family, and on the distaff side, of an equally prominent family in New York.

  • The jug descended in a Sussex County, Delaware, family—on the distaff side, curiously.

  • Aunt Catherine's children were members of the family only on the distaff side, and so were of less importance.

    Royal Highness Thomas Mann
  • The sovereign profession among bees and ants is always female, and publicans also descend on the distaff side.

    The Crock of Gold James Stephens
  • For that reason the pressure from the distaff side is usually a little heavier.

    The Armed Forces Officer

    U. S. Department of Defense
British Dictionary definitions for distaff side

distaff side

the female side or branch of a family Compare spear side
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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