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: What It Is. With All the Kindes, Cavses, Symptomes, Prognosticks, and Seuerall Cvres of It. In Three Maine Partitions, with Their Seuerall Sections, Members, and Svbsections. Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically Opened and Cut Up, by Democritvs Iunior, with a Satyricall Preface, Conducing to the Following Discourse, 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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