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Chapter 20 - Trouble & Strife - Wife

St Mary's Church, East Ham where I was a choirboy and where my sister got married.

Trouble and strife is not the only cockney rhyming slang reference to the other half. In days past wives were also known as the Old Dutch, a shortened version of The Duchess. It’s a strange rhyme as it is a reference to the Duchess of Fife, a region a far cry from the East End of London, far away in another country known as Scotland. The reason they plumped for that particular Duchess as a rhyme is easily explained when you try and think of another area of Great Britain that just happens to rhyme with wife, no chance. The Duchess of Fife had no competition so it was a no-brainer.

To continue reading this chapter click on this absolutely stunning picture I painted not unlike Waterhouse.


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