Apparently a plural form of taw, though attested earlier.
tawse (plural tawses)
- (chiefly Scotland) A leather strap or thong which is split into (typically three) tails, used for corporal punishment in schools, applied to the palm of the hands or buttocks.
- “tawse” in Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary: Based on Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, 7th edition, Springfield, Mass.: G[eorge] & C[harles] Merriam, 1963 (1967 printing), OCLC 974117641.
- Corpun.com, a specialized website on Corporal Punishments