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"maid," mid-15c., especially in reference to Joan of Arc (called in Old French la pucelle from c.1423), according to French sources from Vulgar Latin *pulicella "maid" (cf. Italian pulcella), diminutive of Latin pulla, fem. of pullus "young animal" (see foal (n.)), but there are difficulties with this derivation. Also in English, 16c., "a drab, a slut."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for pucelle
Historical Examples
  • The false pucelle then knelt, confessed her sin, and cried for mercy.

  • It is not the pucelle who would have put them out, do you think?

    France and the Republic William Henry Hurlbert
  • In the old time Domrémy paid no taxes because of the pucelle.

    France and the Republic William Henry Hurlbert
  • After a retention of above thirty years, his pucelle appeared.

  • The pucelle is at least the wit of a rational man, and not the prying beastliness of a satyr.

    Voltaire John Morley
  • Voltaire makes an ass play a wonderful part in his "pucelle."

    Bible Romances George W. Foote
  • “You are summoned to appear before the court, pucelle,” he explained.

    Joan of Arc Lucy Foster Madison
  • “You are to lodge with my own family, pucelle,” he said, making Jeanne a deep obeisance.

    Joan of Arc Lucy Foster Madison
  • On the “pucelle” you were occupied during a generation of mortal men.

  • I have not given above three lines to the author of the “pucelle.”

    Dialogues of the Dead Lord Lyttelton

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