make an honest woman

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make an honest woman

  1. (idiomatic, informal, now usually with "of") To marry (a woman), especially if there is an existing sexual relationship.
    I thought about just asking Rosalyn to move in with me, but I decided it was time to make an honest woman out of her.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 567:
      the mother, Mr Jones, Mr Nightingale, and his love, stept into a hackney-coach, which conveyed them to Doctors' Commons; where Miss Nancy was, in vulgar language, soon made an honest woman, and the poor mother became [] one of the happiest of all human beings.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Also with "out of" for "of", especially in US English.
  • Formerly used where the woman had been dishonoured and the marriage was regarded as correcting this; nowadays used in a jocular fashion.