I did a search on the term unwed mother when writing my post on Katie Price. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t using the term incorrectly. Click here to see the definition I found. I did a double take to make sure I had typed in the correct term, but if you look closely you will see that I did.
Obviously this is a term which makes unwed mothers uncomfortable. They would prefer a term which is more vague and less truthful. With this in mind, I suggest we make it a point to use it when referencing unmarried women with children (excluding widows and rare exceptions to excuse #6).
The term grass widow cries out for explanation of what grass means and how grass widow came to have its varied though related senses. Grass probably refers to a bed of grass or hay as opposed to a real bed. This association would help explain the earliest recorded sense of the word (1528), “an unmarried woman who has lived with one or more men,” as well as the related senses “an abandoned mistress” and “the mother of an illegitimate child.”
We’ve worked extremely hard to forget what our ancestors knew. The bright side is this will only work with our willing cooperation.