• synonyms


  1. Archaic. a man who busies himself with traditionally women's household duties.
  2. Archaic. a coarse woman.
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Origin of cotquean

First recorded in 1540–50; cot2 + quean
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cot-quean

Historical Examples of cot-quean

  • A cot-quean is a man who meddles with female affairs; used by S. only here.

    Shakespeare's Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

    William Shakespeare

British Dictionary definitions for cot-quean


noun archaic
  1. a coarse woman
  2. a man who does housework
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Word Origin for cotquean

C16: see cot ², quean
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cot-quean



1540s, obsolete, "housewife of a cot," from cot (see cottage) + quean; hence "a vulgar beldam, scold" [OED]; also used contemptuously (by Shakespeare, etc.) of men seen as overly interested in housework.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper