ball and chain
- ball and chain a type of prisoner's restraint, 1818; as "one's wife," 1920.
Etymology dictionary. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
ball and chain — n [singular] 1.) something that limits your freedom and stops you from doing what you want to do ▪ The lower tech side of the business was seen as a ball and chain. 2.) a heavy metal ball on a chain, tied to a prisoner s legs, to stop the… … Dictionary of contemporary English
ball and chain — ball′ and chain′ n. 1) a heavy iron ball fastened by a chain to a prisoner s leg 2) off sts sl.: disp. and off. a wife • usage: Definition 2 is used with disparaging intent and is perceived as insulting. It implies that the woman is domineering … From formal English to slang
ball and chain — ☆ ball and chain n. a metal ball fastened by a chain to a prisoner s body to prevent escape … English World dictionary
Ball and chain — A ball and chain is a physical restraint device historically used on prisoners.Ball and chain may also refer to: * a physical restraint consisting of a large, heavy metal ball with a chain attached to a prisoner s leg by a manacle. * a… … Wikipedia
ball and chain — 1. a heavy iron ball fastened by a chain to a prisoner s leg. 2. burdensome restraint: The steady accumulation of small debts was a ball and chain to his progress. 3. Slang (disparaging and offensive). a man s wife (often used facetiously). [1825 … Universalium
ball and chain — n. a wife; a girlfriend. (Mostly jocular.) □ I’ve got to get home to my ball and chain. □ My ball and chain is mad at me … Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions
ball and chain — noun a) A heavy iron ball attached to a prisoners leg by a chain as a means of restraint. Take away this ball and chain. b) Ones wife, as a symbol of restraint … Wiktionary
ball and chain — noun 1. a heavy iron ball fastened by a chain to a prisoner s leg. 2. any restraint. –phrase 3. the old ball and chain, Colloquial one s wife … Australian English dictionary
ball and chain — This term refers to a burden or problem that ties you down and prevents you from doing what you want. It can also refer to one s spouse. Our holiday home has become a ball and chain it s too much work! … English Idioms & idiomatic expressions
ball-and-chain — n Marriage. I m too young to put on the ball and chain. 1980s … Historical dictionary of American slang