Word of the Day

Saturday, November 05, 2011

quean

\kween\ , noun;
1.
An overly forward, impudent woman; shrew; hussy.
2.
A prostitute.
3.
British Dialect. A girl or young woman, especially a robust one.
Quotes:
I answer thee, thou art a beggar, a quean, and a bawd.
-- Thomas Middleton, Five Plays
Had I had my own will, I would have had her to Bridewell, to flog the wild blood out of her—a cutty quean, to think of wearing the breeches, and not so much as married yet!
-- Sir Walter Scott, Waverley Novels
Origin:
Quean, predictably, is rooted in the same Old English word that queen comes from, the word cwen which meant woman.
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