Archaic Definition of the Week – Doxy


A mistress, paramour, or prostitute.

The word’s ultimate origin is uncertain but the Oxford English Dictionary suggests a connection with dock meaning ‘buttocks’ or ‘tail’.  As a verb dock originally meant to cut off a tail, a sense that we still preserve when we talk of docking a horse’s or dog’s tail.  (The more general idea of cutting or reducing, as when we talk of docking someone’s pay is a later extension of this idea.)

Wordsworth Dictionary of Obscenity and Taboo by James McDonald.

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