"trouble and strife"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Aug 22 17:02:27 UTC 2008

OED has this well known item of British rhyming slang from 1908 in the now less familiar sense of "life" but not till 1929 as "wife."
Not an antedating but a contributing factor:
1918 Coningsby Dawson _The Glory of the Trenches_ (London: John Lane) 50: The gramophone...commences to sing:
We'll have a little cottage in a little town 
And we'll have a little mistress in a dainty gown, 
A little doggie, a little cat, 
A little doorstep with WELCOME on the mat ; 
And we'll have a little trouble and a little strife, 
But none of these things matter when you've got a little wife. 
"Mistress" is _not what you think_, you filthy-minded beggars!

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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