The Reno divorce created its own glossary of terms
A Spare The euphemistic name for the man a woman brought with her to Reno to keep her company for six weeks. The woman often claimed she planned to marry the “spare” when her divorce was final and sometimes it happened. If she had the means, the woman kept her “spare” out of sight in a Reno hotel. Another name for the “spare” was the “cousin”.
Alimony Park The park across the street from the Washoe County Courthouse.
Bridge of Sighs The Truckee River Bridge where divorcees were said to toss their wedding rings into the Truckee River after leaving the Washoe County Courthouse. If a woman tossed a ring into the river, it most likely was a ring she bought at the dimestore, and she kept the real thing.
Divorce From the Latin divortium, to turn different ways, to separate.
Divorcé A man divorced
Divorcée A woman divorced
Divorce Capital of the World Reno, Nevada
Divorce Mecca Reno
Divorce Mill Reno
Divorce Trade Reno
Divorce Ranch A uniquely Nevada term for a dude ranch that catered to divorce seekers, usually from the wealthy or upper-classes.
Divorcée Special A train bringing divorce seekers to Reno
Divorce Seekers A term coined by the media in the 1930s for the thousands of women and men who came running to Reno for a six-week divorce.
Going Reno A term to describe divorce seekers on the loose in Reno.
Golden Age of Divorce 1930s – 1960s
Graduation Day The day a divorce seeker went to court, got their divorce decree, and “graduated.”
Heyday of Divorce 1930s – 1060s
I’m Going to Reno! A popular phrase used by a wife or husband to announce they were going to Reno for a divorce.
Quickie Divorce A divorce granted after a six-week residency in Nevada.
Reno Cure Six weeks in Reno to “take the cure” (get a divorce)
Reno Divorce Colony The mix of the Reno social set and the Eastern social set, the latter in Reno for a divorce.
Reno-vation A term coined by Walter Winchell for the change that so-called despondent divorce seekers went through in Reno. Also “Reno-vated” and “Geting Reno-vated.”
Serving Time and Doing Time Six weeks in Reno
Severance Stay Six weeks in Reno
Sin City Reno
Six-weekers Divorce seekers
State of Easy Divorce Nevada
The Cure Six weeks in Reno to get a divorce or “take the cure”.
“The Reno” A style of bra that both “separates and supports.” The name is attributed to Ruth Lusch, a colorful Reno publicist in the late 1940s.
The Separator Washoe County Courthouse
The Women’s Exchange Washoe County Courthouse
Widow’s Corner The Riverside Hotel Corner Bar next door to the Washoe County Courthouse. A meeting place for the Reno divorce colony.
Reno Divorce Glossary reproduced from The Divorce Seekers – A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler by William and Sandra McGee