• synonyms


  1. a detective.
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Origin of hawkshaw

1900–05; after Hawkshaw, a detective in the play The Ticket of Leave Man (1863) by Tom Taylor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hawkshaw

Historical Examples of hawkshaw

  • "She seems to be always like one in a dream, my dear," said Mrs. Hawkshaw to her husband.

    Davenport Dunn, Volume 1 (of 2)

    Charles James Lever

  • She was welcomed by Mrs. Hawkshaw with considerable respect.

  • Mrs. Hawkshaw bustled out and tried to lay her hand on a man.

  • The moment Mrs. Hawkshaw touched upon the chops, he stopped her mouth.

  • Mrs. Mel and Mrs. Hawkshaw turned the bed about, and punched it, and rolled it.

Word Origin and History for hawkshaw


"detective," U.S. slang, from name of the detective in "The Ticket-of-Leave Man," 1863 play by English dramatist Tom Taylor (1817-1880); it also was used in the comic strip "Hawkshaw the Detective" (1913-1947) by U.S. cartoonist Gus Mager (1878-1956). The surname is attested from late 13c., from a place name in Lancashire.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper