How to say "grass widow" in German

Random German Word of the Day: “Strohwitwe” (f.) – This German word literally translates as “straw widow” and is used to refer to either a wife or husband (“Strohwitwer”) who lives temporarily alone, separated from their spouse. The English equivalent is “grass widow”, a term applied to divorced or separated women or those whose partners are often absent.

Although the precise origin of the term is not clear, several speculations exist:

1) In the olden days beds were often made of straw (or grass) – on which the abandoned partner had no choice but to sleep alone
2) “Stroh” may be related to the word “streuen” (“to scatter”, like the abandoning partner did). In modern Danish this word is still “strø”. Perhaps relatedly also “Streuner” (“stray” in English)
3) Several hundred years ago many men would leave their homes to work on faraway fields as temporary laborers during the summer. With their husbands thus “out to pasture”, their wives may have been referred to as straw/grass widows during this time.

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