What Does My Better Half Mean?

My Better Half Meaning

Definition: My spouse.

Origin of My Better Half

This expression has been another way to describe a spouse since the 1500s. Before that, people used it to describe a very good friend who was so close that they composed more than half of a person’s personality or spirit.

The first recorded print use of my better half to refer to a spouse is found in Sir Philip Sidney’s 1580 The Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia:

  • “My deare, my better halfe (sayd hee) I find I must now leaue thee.”

Examples of My Better Half

better half of me meaningIn this example, two sisters are talking about the older sister’s plans for the summer.

Amy: Are you joining the rest of the family at the beach this year for summer vacation?

Kimberly: I’d like to, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to.

Amy: Why not? Do you have to work?

Kimberly: I am working during the summer, but I’m sure my boss would give me time off. However, my husband already knows he can’t take time off. I’d feel bad going to the beach and having a great time while my better half is stuck at work.

Amy: That’s too bad.

what does better half meanIn the second example, two friends are on a camping trip.

Keira: What are you doing? Why do you keep walking around in circles?

Rory: I’m just trying to get a phone signal. I’m not having much luck.

Keira: Why do you need your phone? We came out here to camp to get away from the city and technology.

Rory: I know, but I promised my husband I’d call him once a day so he doesn’t worry about me and knows I’m safe.

Keira: That’s sweet, but you’ll probably have to drive a few miles away to get a signal.

Rory: Unfortunately, I guess I’ll have to do that. If I don’t call, my better half will think I’m in trouble and he might call the police or do something else similarly silly.

More Examples

This excerpt is about dolls that designers made to include four different body types. However, the article author’s wife wondered if there should be more choices available.

  • The bid for Barbie inclusiveness had barely finished crossing the lips of the morning news anchor when my better half asked aloud: “But what if you’re tall and curvy?” underscoring the reality that four body types might be, at the very least, four thousand too few. –LA Times

This excerpt shows a husband speaking about his wife after their son got hurt in a car accident.

  • Lake also praised his wife for rushing to Lennox’s car seat after the crash and giving authorities a description of the hit-and-run driver’s pickup.

“She’s my better half,” Lake said of his wife, who has not left her son’s side at the hospital. –San Diego Union Tribune


The phrase my better half is a complimentary thing for a husband to call a wife, or vice versa.