MEANING: noun:
1. The male line of descent.
2. The male part of a family, group, etc.

ETYMOLOGY: From Old English spere-healfe. Earliest documented use: 1861.

NOTES: Why the term “spear side” to refer to the male line of descent? It’s not known if there are any Freudian allusions. Apparently, the term arose because in olden times men performed the spear business, i.e., fighting. A variation of the term, sword side, is also used. The female counterpart is distaff side or spindle side. The term for the side of a family that spins tales is the Shake spear side.

SPEAR WIDE - aim too far to the right (or left)

SPEAR AIDE - what might happen (see above)

SHEAR SIDE - the open surface when layers are violently wrenched apart