Although the most common definition today is the female version of a cuckold, that is, a woman who is cheated on by her husband, you may also come across the original definition, one that is archaic even by Webster1913's standards: a cotquean is a coarse or scolding woman. The cot (or cote) originally referred to the small house of a poor laborer; thus, a cotquean was simply a poor man's wife. This was, unsurprisingly, used in a derogatory sense.

Cot"quean` (k?t"kw?n`), n. [Cot a cottage + quean.]


A man who busies himself with affairs which properly belong to women.



A she-cuckold; a cucquean; a henhussy.


What, shall a husband be afraid of his wife's face? We are a king, cotquean, and we will reign in our pleasures. B. Jonson.


© Webster 1913.

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