butt-woman

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See also: butt woman

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

butt (hassock) + woman

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (US, UK) IPA(key): /bʌt-wʊmən/

Noun[edit]

butt-woman (plural butt-women)

  1. (obsolete, chiefly Britain) A female lay church worker who tends the pews in a church; a sextoness.
    • 1862, Margaret Goodman, Experiences of an English Sister of Mercy, London, publ. Smith and Elder, pg. 26:
      My thoughts always revert to the angry butt-woman when the second chapter of St. James' Epistle is read in its ordinary course.
    • 1892, Annie Thomas, "The Honourable Jane.", Belgravia: a London magazine, vol. 79, September, 1892, pg. 10:
      "It was more like a funeral than a wedding," said the butt-woman, who was the sole spectator of the ceremony, with the exception of the bride's uncle and aunt, told her friends afterwards.
    • 1909, Edna Bourne Holman, "At Herrick's home in Devon," Scribner's Magazine, March, 1909, vol. XLV, no. 3, pg. 259:
      The butt-woman was just setting forth the need of money for church repairs but she interrupted herself when she found me studying monuments.