One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person with whom one is unfaithful to one's partner.
- ‘It turns out, he is not simply fond of a bit on the side (another mistress emerged this week).’
- ‘And I don't think people will want her to be his bit on the side - his mistress, either.’
- ‘You can bring your bit on the side, and I'll bring one of mine!’
- ‘If you're going to be damned anyway, even for being faithful, you might as well have a bit on the side.’
- ‘There is rakish Andy; dear old Gran; long-suffering Liz; grumpy Phil; auntie Maggie whose been around a bit; Wills the teenage love interest and Chas with his bit on the side.’
- ‘I know you're in love with Michael, so I'm not asking to be your boyfriend or even your bit on the side.’
- ‘What easier way to send a grudging acknowledgement of your lover/spouse / bit on the side than down the computer wire?’
- ‘I was visited by my ‘bit on the side’ (actually, I'm his bit on the side!) before I went out to meet some friends in the usual haunts.’
- ‘It's his girlfriend as in the bit on the side he hopes his wife doesn't know about.’
- ‘Jane, Leon's bit on the side, recently separated and refusing to accept that her lover treats their casual liaison as if it was a one-night-stand, feels trapped in sexual limbo, all confidence gone.’
2Money earned outside one's normal job.‘I'd like to make a bit on the side’
- ‘Marlowe obliquely tells the tale of her life from the bright New Jersey kid who made it to Harvard to her time as a needle-popping rock journalist who earned a bit on the side as a drugs money launderer.’
- ‘He earns a bit on the side by making photoreports on the film set.’
- ‘The pocket money will not be enough to cover all living expenses, and most apprentices will therefore have to earn a bit on the side on Saturdays.’
- ‘Everyone needs to make a bit on the side once in a while!’
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