Could one use the word "wifey" instead of "wife"? I found many conflicting definitions online, Macmillan dictionary says it can be referred to as on'e wife in a humorous way or insulting way. Another meaning- It's referred to an old woman. I am not sure if the native US or UK speakers recognize this word and use it.

2 Answers 2


It's a recognised word, but its use is either old fashioned, or humorous, or occasionally affectionate.

In normal, modern, usage, on most locations, no one would use the term as a common synonym for 'wife'.

There are some areas where it would be considered nothing more than an informal, affectionate, term for the speaker's wife.


Although 'wifey' can be used affectionately, many people in English-speaking countries see the word as misogynist, sexist, and infantilising. There may be slight nuances of meaning, e.g. in American English, a single woman may be considered 'wifey' if she is stereotypically suitable marriage material for a sexist type of man, and in the UK, it may be a word used casually by husbands to refer to their wives.

Either way, it is insulting.

...why does this insult still hang around? And why does it infuriate so acutely?

For me, it’s the reduction of my complex identity to a label that has the condescending, infantilizing singsong tenor with which you might speak to a child. Wifey. Baby. Honey. Sweetie.

The term ‘wifey’ is sexist and infantilizing. (Washington Post)



1 an insulting or humorous word used for referring to someone’s wife

1a a woman, especially an old woman. This word is sometimes considered to be insulting.

Wifey (Macmillan Dictionary)

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    A single woman may be considered wifey in a dictionary of American English but in English speaking America a single woman is never considered wifey. It exists only in the books. Wifely, on the other had, is sometimes used to describe the traditional roles and expectations of housewives.
    – EllieK
    Nov 7, 2022 at 14:20
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    @EllieK-Don'tsupporther - 1. 'wifey a girl you care a lot about, she's more than just your girl.' Urban Dictionary (not a great source, but quite relevant for informal usages). 2. a guide to 'Cyber speak' - 'What Does WIFEY Mean? WIFEY means "Girlfriend described as wife material."' - 3. I was sick and tired of hearing “wifey” or the phrase “wifey material.” Who said that because a woman cooks, has a degree, and a stable job she should be considered “suitable” for a serious partner and someone who doesn’t have all three isn’t? - MadameNoire Nov 7, 2022 at 14:27
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    No disrespect to CyberSpeak, UrbanSlang, or MadameNoire, but I must disagree. Wifey is not used that way and I do not accept those sources as authoritative.
    – EllieK
    Nov 7, 2022 at 14:31
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    @EllieK-Don'tsupporther - from time to time, authoritative sources lag behind current usage, especially casual forms. Are you saying it isn't insulting? Nov 7, 2022 at 14:36
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    One must be careful about making blanket statements with respect to usage without considering location. In certain areas 'wifey' would be considered nothing more than an informal, affectionate, term for the speakers wife.
    – PRL75
    Nov 7, 2022 at 14:49

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