Ultimately from such Latin poetic phrases as animae dimidium meae "half of my soul" (Horace writing about Virgil), when it instead referred to a close friend (compare: soulmate). First written instance of it meaning "spouse" was in 1580 by Sir Philip Sidney.
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- (idiomatic) A person's spouse or lover, most commonly a man's wife. Generally jocular, but may be complimentary or as a sign of respect.