Babe – /bāb/
1.) A description.
a.) Look at that babe, she’s out of my league.
2.) Term of endearment. Personally preferred over the childlike ‘baby’
a.) Hey babe, I missed you.
b.) Can you please make me some coffee, babe?
Ball and chain – /ˌbôl (ə)n ˈCHān/
1.) Playfully derogatory name for the wife. Occasionally used in jest, usually when under the influence, never intentionally in her presence.
a.) Best I call it a night and head home to the ol’ ball and chain.
Honey – /ˈhənē/
1.) Term of endearment reserved specifically for her.
a.) I love you, honey.
b.) You should go the doctor honey, that kind of pain isn’t normal.
Partner – /ˈpärtnər/
1.) Implies long term relationship. Safe for talking about relationship when used in conjunction with unisex pronouns so as not to out oneself.
a.) My partner and I did long distance for two semesters while they finished their degree in Boston.
2.) Can be used by both same and opposite sex couples, or variations thereof.
a.) I can’t go out tonight; I have a Skype date with my partner.
3.) Practical, even if reminiscent of a law firm.
a.) My partner and I have a solid relationship.
Roommate – /ˈro͞omˌmāt/
1.) A person who lives with you. Implies relationship but does not specify what kind.
a.) Are you and your roommate going to renew your lease?
b.) Is it okay if I accompany my roommate to their doctor’s appointment?
Significant Other – /siɡˈnifikənt ˈəT͟Hər/
1.) Unisex and descriptive.
a.) Significant others are welcome to attend.
2.) Sounds less like legalese but still implies seriousness.
a.) My significant other and I are going away for the weekend.
3.) Common abbreviation S.O.
a.) I’ll have to check with my S.O.
Note: Not to be confused with Superior Officer, although not dissimilar.
Spouse – /spous,spouz/
1.) The person one is married to. Still unisex but more traditional.
a.) My spouse is my better half.
b.) Relation to the patient? Spouse.
2.) Spouses (plural). First use of word: November 8th, 2016.
a.) I now pronounce you spouses for life.
Note: matching couple’s t-shirts pending.
Wife – /wīf/
1.) Common phrase used to describe others, myself, and my wife.
a.) Would you prefer to have ‘spouse’ or ‘wife’ listed on your marriage certificate?
2.) The gravity of this word may not be immediately apparent when first applied. Realization will come later, sometimes months after first use.
a.) Hello, I’m the nurse from the recovery ward and I wanted to let you know that your wife is doing well after her surgery and we’re ready to move her to another ward.
H R Green lives and writes in the Midwest with work appearing in publications such as Pank, The Rumpus, and McSweeney's.