Husbandry is an English word which is sparsely used by the mainstream John Doe. It has two main definitions:
- The act of practice of cultivating crops and breeding and raising livestock; agriculture.
- Careful management or conservation of resources; economy.
The roots of the word comes from Middle English husband (husbondri, from husebrand) which means “To use sparingly or economically; conserve, (e.g., To husband one’s energy“.) It is a noun.
If you cherish studying the English language, I will expand the term further for your ready reference. The English word husband, even though it is a basic kinship term, is not a native English word. It comes ultimately from the Old Norse word hsbndi, meaning “master of a house,” which was borrowed into Old English as hsbnda. The second element in hsbndi, bndi, means “a man who has land and stock” and comes from the Old Norse verb ba, meaning “to live, dwell, have a household.”
The master of the house was usually a spouse as well, of course, and it would seem that the main modern sense of husband arises from this overlap. When the Norsemen settled in Anglo-Saxon England, they would often take Anglo-Saxon women as their wives; it was then natural to refer to the husband using the Norse word for the concept, and to refer to the wife with her Anglo-Saxon (Old English) designation, wf, “woman, wife” (Modern English wife).
Interestingly, Old English did have a feminine word related to Old Norse hsbndi that meant “mistress of a house,” namely, hsbonde. Had this word survived into Modern English, it would have sounded identical to husband surely leading to ambiguities.
Having explained the second meaning of husbandry which is more obscure to most English-speaking persons, I’ll relate the term to this blog post. As you all know, I’ve been a number man all my life working as an accountant, auditor, business administrator or comptroller. The correct term is “number crunching”. Originally I wanted to become a pilot when I grew up, but that’s another story for another day.
As much as I dedicated many hours working as a number cruncher for private and public companies, I was never a very good housekeeper. Buying clothes, contracting maintenance people (plumbers, carpenters, painters, etc.), purchasing stoves or refrigerators or going to the supermarket to buy food, just wasn’t my cup of tea. Usually when I engaged in those occupations, I overspent. My numbers never added up and my wife had to come to the rescue, like the cavalry.
Aura, my wife, is a natural-born housekeeper. She can squeeze 150 cents out of a dollar. She knows how to keep our house in top shape with the minimum use of our scant resources. She never took a college course on economy, but believe me, she will defeat the best economist from Harvard as far as keeping a house in order. Towels, blankets, shirts, slacks, underwear, shoes, curtains, brooms, or mops last almost forever under her careful supervision. She buys my clothes, my shaving cream, my deodorant and a zillion other stuff. In her hands the dollars morph into a powerful buying instrument.
Below are several pictures of my wife removing the labels from three slacks she purchased for me last week. We prefer the Haggar brand due to its reasonable price, durability and good looks. By the way, Haggar popularized the term “slacks” for men’s pants in the 1940s. This term, as cited by the Oxford English Dictionary, was used for “loosely cut trousers for informal wear,” in 1824.
Haggar slacks are distributed in Panama by Félix B. Maduro and sell for $45.00 apiece plus a 7 percent ITBMS tax. They last more than twenty years, which is an extraordinary deal. I learned that from my wife. Okay, so much for slacks, now let’s show the pictures. Here we go.
The next time you think you know all the answers just because you graduated from Yale, Harvard, or Columbia, just to name a few; think again. Your wife is a lot better managing money. Let her handle the husbandry and save tons of money. Good Day and Good Husbandry as well.