Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[fish-wahyf] /ˈfɪʃˌwaɪf/
noun, plural fishwives.
a woman who sells fish.
a coarse-mannered, vulgar-tongued woman.
Origin of fishwife
late Middle English
First recorded in 1375-1425, fishwife is from the late Middle English word fisshwyf. See fish, wife Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for fishwife
Historical Examples
  • A longshoreman wouldn't have called a fishwife what I called you, you blessed child.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • “But sure, they are our fellow-creatures, brother Shane,” exclaimed the fishwife.

    The Heir of Kilfinnan W.H.G. Kingston
  • Patrick was summoned, and with his father and the fishwife, the boat was launched.

    The Heir of Kilfinnan W.H.G. Kingston
  • The boy was placed at the helm, and the fishwife and her brother took the oars.

    The Heir of Kilfinnan W.H.G. Kingston
  • In another Moment, except Help come, the fishwife will be no more.

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • This choice remark was accompanied by the grin of a fishwife and the stare of a drab.

    The Sorrows of Satan Marie Corelli
  • I certainly do not resemble a fishwife, she said, nor have I any intention of acting as one.

    The Angel of Pain E. F. Benson
  • She with the voice of a fishwife and the scent of a perfumer's shop!'

    The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci

    Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky
  • I have enough of this life; I have had enough of these fishwife's manners.

    A Chambermaid's Diary Octave Mirbeau
  • You will understand that I am not the man to wrangle like a fishwife.

    The Bishop's Apron W. Somerset Maugham
British Dictionary definitions for fishwife


noun (pl) -wives
a woman who sells fish
a coarse scolding woman
Derived Forms
fishwifely, adjective
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for fishwife

1520s, from fish (n.) + wife in the "woman" sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for fishwife



The wife of a homosexual man (1970s+ Homosexuals)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for fishwife

Word Value for fishwife

Scrabble Words With Friends