Middle English Dictionary Entry

quē̆ne n.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) A woman; (b) a lowborn woman, quean; also, a harlot; also as term of abuse; (c) an old woman, a crone; (d) ?in place name [see Smith PNElem.1.122].

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1300(?c1150) Prov.Alf.(Jes-O 29)119/442 : Salomon hit haveþ i sed, þat wymmon can wel vuelne red. Þe hire red foleweþ heo bryngeþ hime to seorewe. For hit seyþ in þe loþ as scumes [?read: cwenes or cwen us] for-teoþ.
    Note: A crux for which many solutions have been offered. 'cwen us' is Hall's suggestion; 'cuenes' is Arngart's, following the Brandl-Zippel glossary.