One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An impudent or badly behaved girl or woman.
impudent person, insignificant person, gnat, insectView synonyms
- ‘Catherine is ‘greatest of all sovereigns and whores’ and also a ‘modern Amazon and Queen of queans’.’
- 1.1 A prostitute.
- ‘The actor, cannily aware of the trap set by this modern dress version, resists translating the mannerisms into those of just another gay quean.’
- ‘It included the insults jade, quean, baggage, harlot, drab, filth, flirt, gill, trull, dirtyheels, draggletail, flap, naughty-pack, slut, squirt and strumpet.’
- ‘Gone too are the painted queans and the respectable gentlemen in evening dress who pursued trade - for sex, for violence, for love, for money, for something to tell their mates about.’
Old English cwene ‘woman’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kween ‘barren cow’, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek gunē.
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