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Word of the Day
Saturday, November 05, 2011

Definitions for quean

  1. An overly forward, impudent woman; shrew; hussy.
  2. A prostitute.
  3. British Dialect. A girl or young woman, especially a robust one.

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Citations for quean
I answer thee, thou art a beggar, a quean, and a bawd. Thomas Middleton, Five Plays
Had I had my own will, I would have had her to Bridewell, to flog the wild blood out of her—a cutty quean, to think of wearing the breeches, and not so much as married yet! Sir Walter Scott, Waverley Novels
Origin of quean
Quean, predictably, is rooted in the same Old English word that queen comes from, the word cwen which meant woman.