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Literature and Ideas

helpmate

n.

The Devil's Dictionary

Ambrose Bierce

A wife, or bitter half.

"Now, why is yer wife called a helpmate, Pat?"
    Says the priest.  "Since the time 'o yer wooin'
She's niver [sic] assisted in what ye were at —
    For it's naught ye are ever doin'."

"That's true of yer Riverence [sic]," Patrick replies,
    And no sign of contrition envices;
"But, bedad, it's a fact which the word implies,
    For she helps to mate the expinses [sic]!"

Marley Wottel