Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Feb 25 02:06:44 UTC 2008

Using the minus function, I entered

broodmare mother children -foal -mare -horse

and got the following two (among many others)

I assume this comes from one of two places: either it reflects the old
Mr. and Mrs. Ploni Smith, or it is because the wife is considered an
anonymous broodmare whose name shouldn’t be mentioned in public.
(, 31 Dec 2007)

Sure, he could do what his brothers and all the other Guild members
did--marry the approved and appropriate mother for your children and
find a tantalizing trollop to keep things interesting on the side. By
why settle for that at this stage? He was still young and terrifyingly
rich, and he had few responsibilities.And as long as there were exotic,
sensual women like Tamara Wisdom to entice him, he wasn't going to
shackle himself to some tedious prize broodmare who reminded him too
much of his mother. (_The Expected One_ by Kathleen McGowan, 2006, page
182, from Google Books at


Mark Mandel wrote:
> Neither OED nor M-W has the figurative sense of "broodmare" as 'a woman
> regarded chiefly or solely as a producer of children'. I'm familiar with
> this usage, though I can't give citations for it, and a Google search is
> swamped with literal uses. Can anyone else provide a cite?
> What prompts my mention of this is the appearance of this sense in a
> Wikipedia article (
>, with a
> link to an article that has only the literal sense.

The American Dialect Society -

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