What does alewife mean?
The definition of alewife
Ale”wife`, n.; pl. Alewives.
A woman who keeps an alehouse. Gay.
Ale”wife`, n.; pl. Alewives.
Etym: [This word is properly aloof, the Indian name of a fish. See Winthrop on the culture of maize in America, “Phil Trans.” No. 142, p. 1065, and Baddam’s “Memoirs,” vol.ii. p. 131.]
Etym: (Zoöl.)

A North American fish (Clupea vernalis) of the Herring family. It is called also ellwife, ellwhop, branch herring. The name is locally applied to other related species.