One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An impudent or ill-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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘The actor, cannily aware of the trap set by this modern dress version, resists translating the mannerisms into those of just another gay quean.’
Old English cwene ‘woman’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kween ‘barren cow’, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek gunē.
Top tips for CV writingRead more
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.