Honey-Do List: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 25, 2023

Everyone has heard of to-do lists, but have you ever heard of a honey-do list? This idiom refers to a list of tasks or chores assigned by one partner, typically the wife, to the other partner, typically the husband, in a household. This list usually includes household chores, repairs, or errands that need attention.

In short:

"Honey do list" refers to a list of tasks or chores that one partner (usually a wife) gives to the other (usually a husband).

What Does "Honey-Do List" Mean?

A "honey do list" refers to a list of household chores or minor repairs one spouse asks the other to complete. The implication is that the spouse making the request leads with endearing terms like "honey" to coax their partner into completing the tasks.

  • Wives often make these lists for their husbands to do, playing on the gender stereotype that women manage the household.
  • A typical honey-do list may include mowing the lawn, cleaning the garage, assembling furniture, hanging decor, or fixing appliances.
  • You could use "honey do list" in a sentence like: "I spent all Sunday tackling my 'honey do list,' from fixing the leaky faucet to mowing the lawn." This communicates that the speaker spent the day completing household tasks.
  • Similar phrases to "honey do list" might include "to-do list," "chores list," or "tasks list."

Where Does "Honey-Do List" Come From?

The origin of the phrase is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the United States in the mid-20th century. The phrase is a pun on the phrase “honey, could you do…” and “honeydew,” a type of melon. The phrase became more popular in the 1990s and 2000s and is still commonly used today.

10 Examples of "Honey-Do List" in Sentences

Here are some sentences that showcase the idiom in various contexts:

  • This weekend, I've got a long honey-do list, starting with mowing the lawn.
  • Every Saturday, Jane gives John a new honey-do list.
  • Knowing my partner is a sneaker-head, I added finding limited edition sneakers to the honey-do list, hoping to surprise him with a new addition to his collection."
  • The love of my life gave me a honey-do list for the weekend,
  • I was out and about when I received a text reminding me of the honey-do list waiting at home.
  • Can you add fixing the garage door to your honey-do list?
  • It's been a week since I last checked the honey-do list, and I'm surprised at how much has piled up.
  • Two more tasks appear every time I check something off my honey-do list.
  • She handed him a honey-do list as he walked in the door.
  • Completing the honey-do list is a weekend ritual for many couples.

Example of "Honey-Do List" in Pop Culture

The "honey-do list" concept has been referenced in media. Here's one example:

  • The sitcom Home Improvement often joked about Tim's ever-growing honey-do list.
  • A book entitled Honey Do List was released by Liquid Sunshine Publishing in 2019.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Honey-Do List"

While "honey-do list" is a popular term, there are other ways to describe a list of tasks given by one partner to another:

  • Chore list
  • Task list
  • To-do list
  • Job list

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Honey-Do List":

  • What is a "honey-do list"?

A "honey do list" is a list of tasks or chores that one partner gives to the other, typically within a domestic setting.

  • Where did the term "honey-do list" originate?

It's believed to have originated in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century.

  • Is the wife always giving the "honey-do list" to the husband?

No, while traditionally it might have been seen this way, the term can apply to any couple, regardless of gender.

  • Can a "honey-do list" be digital?

Yes, in today's digital age, many couples use apps or digital notes for their "honey do lists".

  • Is the term "honey-do list" used globally?

While it's popular in the U.S., its usage might vary in other countries and cultures.

  • How can I make my "honey-do list" more effective?

Clear communication, setting priorities, and being realistic about time constraints can help.

  • Are there apps for "honey-do lists"?

Yes, many to-do list apps can be used for this purpose.

  • Can a "honey-do list" be fun?

Of course! Adding fun tasks or rewards can make it more enjoyable.

  • How often should a "honey-do list" be updated?

It depends on the couple, but regularly reviewing and updating can be helpful.

  • Is it okay to say no to a task on the "honey do list"?

Open communication is key. If a task is unreasonable or there's a conflict, it's important to discuss it.

Final Thoughts About "Honey-Do List"

A "honey-do list" is a colloquial term often used to refer to a list of tasks or chores assigned by a spouse or partner, typically a wife to her husband. The name comes from the endearing term "honey" used between couples and the phrase "do this," implying a request or command.

Here's a quick wrap-up:

  • It represents a list of tasks one partner would like the other to complete.
  • The term is widely recognized, especially in the United States.
  • It has been referenced in various forms of media, highlighting its relevance in everyday language.

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