Green’s Dictionary of Slang

missis n.

also misses, missus
[SE Mrs]

1. one’s wife; the mistress of the household.

Bristol Mirror 19 Apr. 4/2: He takes the ribbands in his hands [...] missis by his side.
[US]D. Crockett Sketches and Eccentricities 41: My ole misses she don’t like me, / Bekase I don’t eat de black eye pea.
[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 91: He tried to murder me, sir; and then he tried to murder Charlotte; and then missis.
[UK]Thackeray Vanity Fair II 144: ‘What ’ave you done, Sir; Misses can’t abide ’em.’ ‘Missis needn’t smoke,’ said James.
[UK]G.J. Whyte-Melville General Bounce (1891) 21: ‘Good gracious! Missus’s bell!’ exclaims Gingham.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Ask Mamma 285: The heavily laden family vehicles began to arrive, containing old fat paterfamilias in the red coat of his youth, with his ‘missis’ by his side.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 340/1: So what I took wasn’t enough to earn the commonest living for me and my missus.
[UK]Sportsman 22 Aug. 4/1: Notes on News [...] ‘[M]y missus told them that she was not afraid of them, and that if they were not off like a shot she would let them have what she had promised them, and they would have had it too, for when my missus promises a thing, she means it’.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Tom Sawyer 27: Ole missis, she tole me I got to go an’ git dis water.
[UK]G.R. Sims Dagonet Ballads 4: I never said now’t to the missus — we both on us liked her well.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Mar. 9/3: The Kamschatka Chronicle amuses me. I read it to my missis every Sunday afternoon.
[Scot]R.L. Stevenson Treasure Island 87: And can you trust your missis?
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) I 189: If Missus should hear us, what will become of me?
[UK]C. Roberts Adrift in America 75: When we got up to the house we were glad to find that the ‘Missis’ was up and had made a big pot of hot coffee for us.
[UK]A. Morrison Tales of Mean Streets (1983) 127: There the missis put an end to doubt by repeating what the lawyer’s clerk said.
[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 15 Apr. 457: ‘Well, missus,’ said her husband.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 144: It was arranged for the missis to stop home an’ cook the bit o’dinner.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘Between Rounds’ in Four Million (1915) 39: ’Tis Jawn McCaskey and his missis at it again.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘A Song of General Sick-and-Tiredness’ in Roderick II (1967–9) 243: You’ll find, when his Washup has had his say, ’tis the Missus that pays the fine.
[UK]C. Holme Lonely Plough (1931) 86: Oh, put it on the missis! I guess a bad excuse is better than none.
[UK]J.N. Hall Kitchener’s Mob 6: Gor blimy, ’Arry, ’ow’s the missus?
[US]B. Hecht A Thousand and One Afternoons [ebook] ‘Well, to go on about the missus, I knew I had her from the first day’.
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 202: Somewhere or other some time ago Bingo’s missus managed to dig up a Frenchman of the most extraordinary vim and skill.
[UK]H. Ashton Doctor Serocold (1936) 159: I’ve got my missus to consider.
Duckett ‘Double Feature’ in N.Y. Age 22 Jan. 7/1: [H]e and the missus will have a wee guest in the spring.
[WI]A. Durie One Jamaica Gal 21: If the ‘missis’ gave out four eggs for puddings, Mrs. Ryan saved one [...] for her own home larder.
[UK]B. Bennett ‘Doctor Goosegrease’ in Billy Bennett’s Third Budget 16: When my tonic he’s had, he’ll feel like a young lad, / There’ll be no one more pleased than his missus.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 101: Bring your missus along and have a good time.
[UK]‘Charles Raven’ Und. Nights 136: That evening Harry’s missus came round.
[UK]W. Hall Long and the Short and the Tall Act I: You ever want to see a bloke carved up? Proper. So his missis thinks he’s someone else.
[UK]H. Livings Nil Carborundum (1963) Act III: I want to slip down to Geldon to see the missis. She’s expecting me.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Yarns of Billy Borker 107: [He] loved his horses better than his missus.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 157: Why don’t you try it on the missis.
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 127: How often did you want to impress the missus?
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Godson 27: ‘Got a great missus and two terrific kids’.
[UK]S. Armitage ‘Poem by the Boy Outside the Fire Station’ in Zoom 42: He’s only ever missed a call-out once / when he was getting to the pitch with his missis.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 79: They reckoned his missis made him get the hard chair for his back.
[Aus]J. Byrell Lairs, Urgers & Coat-Tuggers 277: Tappy is about to cop a fearful verbal thumping from his young missus .
[UK]Guardian Rev. 27 Nov. 1: How’s your good self and the missus?
[US]C. Goffard Snitch Jacket 78: Poor man lost his missus.
R. O’Neill ‘Ocker’ in The Drover’s Wives (2019) 180: The drover’s missus was inside.

2. (US) a procuress, a bawd.

[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 28 May n.p.: They are no longer surrounded by libidinous paramours [...] No ‘Missus’ tends the couch or refreshes the wardrobe.
[US]Flash (NY) 10 Dec. n.p.: A girl of the town on a errand for her ‘missus’ was bargaining for a rooster.

3. (N.Z. prison) a female prisoner’s best friend (but not always lover).

[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 117/2: missus (also Mrs) n. a female inmate’s close friend with whom she spends much of her time (although not necessarily her sexual intimate).