A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2262

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2262

Wench. n.s. [wencle, Saxon.]

  1. A young woman.

    What do I, silly wench, know what love hath prepared for me? Sidney, b. ii.

    Now – how dost thou look now? Oh ill-starr'd wench!
    Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt,
    This look of thine will hurl my soul from heav'n,
    And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl,
    Ev'n like thy chastity.
    Shakesp. Othello.

    Thou wouldst perswade her to a worse offence
    Than that, whereof thou didst accuse her wench.

  2. A young woman in contempt; a strumpet.

    But the rude wench her answer'd nought at all. Spenser.

    Do not play in wench-like words with that
    Which is so serious.
    Shakesp. Cymbeline.

    Men have these ambitious fancies,
    And wanton wenches read romances.

  3. A strumpet.

    It is not a digression to talk of bawds in a discourse upon wenches. Spectator, № 266.

Sources: Shakespeare's Cymbeline (73) · Donne, John (44) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Spectator (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Steele, Richard (15)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Wench." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 5, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/wench/.

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