One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
informal, rare, depreciative, humorous, historical
(The type of) a boisterous or jovial young Cockney woman, typically the notional wife or girlfriend of 'Arry.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Saturday Review. Representing a Cockney pronunciation of Harriet, pet form of the female forename Henriette, used in this sense as a female counterpart of 'Arry.
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