[Loch-Ruadh] Word of the Day, March 15, 2002

Cait O'Hara lady_cait at lycos.com
Fri Mar 15 09:39:53 PST 2002


An unmarried woman who has had a child.
-- Thomas Wright’s Dictionary of obsolete and Provincial English, 1857

A discarded mistress; a widow bewitched; a woman whose husband is abroad, and said, but not certainly known, to be dead.
-- Capt. Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1811

One that pretends to have been married, but never was, yet has children.
-- B.E.’s Dictionary of the Canting Crew, 1699

Gearge Hempl of Ann Arbor, in 1893 examined a hundred students as to the use of the phrase.  Nineteen understood it to mean a woman divorced; to thirty-seven, it signified a woman divorced or informally separated from her husband, he being usually the deserting party; forty-two were familiar with the term only in reference to a woman who had been deserted by her husband.
-- Richard Thornton’s American Glossary, 1912

Feast Day of St. Louise, a patroness of widows.

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

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