The origin of the term is thought to be from the Dutch colony of Indonesia where Dutch traders would spend long periods away from their wives.
Dutch wife (plural Dutch wives)
- A long body-length bolster (pillow) that can be held or wrapped around one's body while sleeping
- In East Asia and Southeast Asia, a wicker or bamboo tube the size of a person for use in the bed. In the summer heat, the open bamboo structure is cooler than fabric pillows or sheets. The Dutch wife is embraced by the user, exposing the maximum amount of the body to cooling breezes.