the husband is always the last to know

the husband is always the last to know
Said of a wife as well as a husband.

1604 MARSTON What you Will I. i. A cuckold..a thing that’s hoodwinked with kindness... He must be the last must know it.

1659 N. R. Proverbs 95 The good man is the last that knows whats amisse at home.

1756 STERNE Tristram Shandy VIII. iv. ‘It is with love as with cuckoldom’—the suffering party is at least the third, but generally the last who knows anything about the matter.

1893 R. KIPLING Many Inventions 250 The most disconnected witness knew..the causes of offence; and the prisoner [i.e. the cuckolded husband], who naturally was the last of all to know, groaned in the dock while he listened.

1936 M. MITCHELL Gone with Wind liv. I thought surely the whole town knew by now. Perhaps they all do, except you. You know the old adage: ‘The wife is always the last one to find out.’

1959 M. SUMMERTON Small Wilderness i. That over-worked truism about the wife being the last to know, wasn’t in my case strictly accurate.

1979 C. MACLEOD Family Vault iii. ‘Do you mean he hasn’t heard? Leila whooped. ‘They say the husband’s always the last to know,’ Harry chimed in.

2002 B. MONAHAN Sceptred Isle Club vii. 138 John knew that, just as in affairs of the heart the wife is the last to know, with affairs of business, professional associates seldom had warnings when their seemingly secure friend went bankrupt.


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