mainly Scot


a leather strap having one end cut into thongs, formerly used as an instrument of punishment by a schoolteacher


to punish (someone) with or as if with a tawse; whip

Word Origin for tawse

C16: probably plural of obsolete taw strip of leather; see taw ²
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

Examples from the Web for tawse

Historical Examples of tawse

  • The tawse had hung idle even for Paul for many and many a day.

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • Even Robin and Jack had been in their day afraid of the mistress and her tawse.

    Allison Bain

    Margaret Murray Robertson

  • The serpent had unwound its coils; it lay revealed in all its hideousness—a teacher's tawse!


    Neil Munro

  • I dinna think that e'er I had to raise the tawse to Sandy in my life.

  • But I want my dolly's k'adle, tawse my dolly's in it, and I want to shee her!

    The World's Greatest Books, Volume V.

    Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.