I loved the old newspaper description of a woman of ill repute being called a nymph of the pave I used in yesterday’s post so my buried word today is in the same vein.
Quean is a word used for a bold brazen woman, a hussy or a prostitute and an old Scottish word for a young unmarried woman or girl.
I think that the spread of use all the way from unmarried girl all the way to prostitute is a bit rough. If you are an unmarried girl you are not necessarily a prostitute! I think that it just shows historically how little status females had before marriage when a word that was originally used to describe a (supposedly) innocent young girl can evolve to describe just the opposite.