wittol

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English witewold; likely a blend of witen (to know) + cockewold (cuckold), equivalent to wit +‎ cuckold

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

wittol (plural wittols)

  1. (archaic) A man who knows and tolerates his wife's infidelity with another man or men; a cuckold.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      , New York Review of Books 2001, p.67:
      To see [] a wittol wink at his wife's honesty, and too perspicuous in all other affairs […].
    • 1885, Sir Richard Francis Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, "Night 13"
      So the Ifrit cried at her, "Thou whorest and makest me a wittol with thine eyes;" and struck her so that her head went flying.
    • 1960, John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor
      God help the husband that obliges his wife's least whim: he'll be a wittol ere he's two years wed!
  2. (Britain, dialect, obsolete) A bird, the wheatear.

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