MAIDEN

maiden.

1. A young unmarried woman.

2. Scots law. An instrument used to behead criminals. • The Earl of Morton, who had introduced the instrument to Scotland, was the first to be executed by it, in 1581. It was the prototype of the guillotine. Hence, “to kiss the maiden was to be put to death.” H. Percy Smith, Glossary of Terms and Phrases 307 (1883).


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