Legal Definition Spinster
The 17th century may naturally seem like a long, long time ago, but it wasn`t until 2005 that the terms “single” and “single” ceased to be used in England and Wales to describe unmarried people in legal documents. 2005! When Spinster first appeared in English in the mid-1300s, he was referring to a woman who spun thread and thread. Our first use comes from Piers Plowman`s allegorical poem: “And my wyf. Spak to þe spinsters for to spinne hit softe” (and my wife . talked to the spinners to make it sweet). “Spinster” is defined by the Cambridge English Dictionary as “a woman who is not married, especially a woman who is no longer young and unlikely to marry”. Note the keyword: woman. Not surprisingly, spinster is a word that cannot be used to describe a man. And the male alternative to singleness? Bachelor. The Oxford American English Dictionary defines Spinster as “a single woman, usually an older woman, who exceeds the usual age of marriage.” He adds: “In everyday modern English, however, Spinster cannot simply be used as a `single woman`; As such, it is a pejorative term that refers to or alludes to a stereotype of a single, childless, prized and oppressed older woman.  “I will never be able to get used to the name Ancram instead of Algernon,” says the spinner, lifting her round and red face from her wool work. A 2009 University of Missouri study of 32 women found that modern “singles” have a social stigma attached to their status and a sense of increased visibility and invisibility.
“The increased visibility came from feelings of exposure and the invisibility came from the assumptions of others.”   By the 1800s, the term had evolved to include women who had chosen not to marry. During this century, middle-class bachelors, as well as their married peers, took the ideals of love and marriage very seriously, and spinning was, in fact, often a consequence of their adherence to these ideals. They remained single, not because of individual flaws, but because they could not find the one “who could be all in the heart.”  Tina Fey`s portrayal of her character Liz Lemon in NBC`s hit series 30 Rock illustrates another classic spinster stereotype. Lemon, a 40-year-old single woman whose relationships never seem to work out, has unrealistic expectations of a male partner: her dream man is the archetype of “astronaut Mike Dexter,” and for much of the series, her character clings to a man until she can meet an astronaut.  On this day in 2005, England and Wales stopped using the terms “Bachelor” and “Spinster” to describe unmarried people in official documents, as they had done for decades. “Under the Civil Partnership Act, these somewhat curious terms will give way to a new collective term for single men and women: `single,`” the BBC wrote at the time. By the time these terms were replaced, she writes, they were both obsolete. But where do they come from? In Salman Rushdie`s Midnight`s Children, Alia Sinai becomes a bachelor after the man she was engaged to escapes with her sister.
Alia`s characterization sometimes resembles the proud and feminist conception of a bachelor: she becomes a successful professional and a courageous pro-democracy political activist. Other aspects of Alias` characterization, however, are consistent with the more traditional and misogynistic conception of madness: she is portrayed as ugly, bitter, vindictive, and, at least as far as her family is concerned, destructive. Age is a crucial element of the definition, as Robin Lakoff explains in Language and Woman`s Place: “If someone is a bachelor, he implicitly has no right [to marry]; She had her chance and was ignored. Therefore, a twenty-year-old girl cannot be properly called a bachelor: she still has a chance to be married.”  Still other sources on terms describing a single woman indicate that the term applies to a woman once she has reached the legal age (see Bachelorette, Single). Where does the word “spinster” come from? Why do people find this pejorative? And how is it still used today? Meanwhile, in some countries around the world, “single” and “single” are still the legal terms for women and men who have never been married. And when it comes to dictionary definitions, “Spinster” is always officially listed as a synonym for “single.” Will anyone mourn the imminent death of the word “spinster”? It is described in the Cambridge dictionary as referring to “a woman who is not married, especially a woman who is no longer young and unlikely to marry”. In Finnish, Bulgarian and Arabic, the equivalent literally means “old maid”. Wordreference.com describes Spinster`s meaning as “always single” as “outdated.”  “I took the money I had saved for my honeymoon and bought a cemetery property”—Liz Lemon, colleague A single woman who was a poor relative was the only respectable livestock person to approach her.
The popular and cleverly intelligent detective Miss Marple was a single heroine in Agatha Christie`s crime series, which later became a television series.  In the seventeenth century, writes author Naomi Braun Rosenthal, the word “spinster” had taken its common association from a single woman. However, it was not until the eighteenth century that the term “spinster” became synonymous with the equally old but much less neutral term “old maid,” she writes. According to STD life coach Belize Spivey, herpes doesn`t mean you`re destined to live like a bachelor. Paul McCartney composed the hit “Eleanor Rigby” (1966) about loneliness and the death of a bachelor during his time with the Beatles (although he never used the term in the lyrics). The 1828 and 1913 editions of Merriam Webster`s Dictionary defined Spinster in two ways: Spinster then became an official term in legal documents, as many people in the Middle Ages used their profession as their surname (which is why people still have names like Smith, Potter, Thatcher, and Baker). However, as a single woman was also associated with a single woman by occupation, “spinster” was used in legal documents in the 17th century to refer simply to a single woman. Women may not have married for a variety of reasons (and/or a combination), including personal inclination, lack of suitable men (whose numbers may decrease significantly during a war or later in life) and socio-economic conditions (i.e. the availability of livelihoods for women).
Writer and bachelor Louisa May Alcott wrote that “freedom is a better husband than love for many of us.”  Social status issues may also arise when it is unacceptable for a woman to marry below her social class, but her parents do not have the means to support marriage in their social rank.  However, there were other loves that beelied the appearance of a dried, workaholic girl. The Oxford American Dictionary marks “spinster” (which “. single woman, usually a woman older than the usual age of marriage”) as “pejorative” and “a good example of how a word has such strong connotations that it can no longer be used in a neutral sense.”  Never-married women are a worldwide phenomenon. They are called “aanissat” in Arabic, “spinsters” or “old maids” in English, “vieilles filles” in French, “zitelle” in Italian, “alte Jungfer” in German, “shengnu” in Mandarin, “stara panna” in Polish and “dakhtar torsheedeh” in Persian.  In Japan, where women were traditionally expected to marry at a young age, those who married after the age of 25 were renamed after the age of 25. Metaphorically called Christmas (unsold) cakes (クリスマスケーキ) in connection with items that are still unsold after the age of 25.  While depictions like Jane Austen`s were unfortunately true for their time, the idea of single single women as sad and lonely singles is still regularly immortalized in modern movies and television shows.