[Loch-Ruadh] Word of the Day, April 8

Cait O'Hara lady_cait at lycos.com
Mon Apr 8 07:00:42 PDT 2002

April 8, 2002

An English house of correction so-called because women of loose character had to spin or beat hemp there as a punishment.
-- Robert Hunter’s Encyclopaedic Dictionary, 1894

The place in Cambridge where street-walkers are locked up if found out after a certain time at night.
-- J.C. Hotten’s Slang Dictionary, 1887

Feast Day of Walter of Pontnoise, an eleventh-century patron of prisoners.  Bridewell, a house of correction near Fleetditch, London, built much earlier by Henry VIII for the cordial reception of Emperor Charles V, was given over by Henry’s son, Edward VI, after “endowing it with lands and furniture from the Savoy,” to serve as “a workhouse where all vagrants and able persons are forced to beat hemp in public view, with due correction of whipping.”  It appears to have been in relation to this type of institution that the word spinster, which at that time also was used for men, developed its sordid connotations.

Never meddle in the affairs of dragons;
For you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
-- Acacia

See Dave Matthews Band live or win a signed guitar

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