Distaff Day
Distaff Dis"taff, n.; pl. {Distaffs}, rarely {Distaves}. [OE. distaf, dysestafe, AS. distaef; cf. LG. diesse the bunch of flax on a distaff, and E. dizen. See {Staff}.] 1. The staff for holding a bunch of flax, tow, or wool, from which the thread is drawn in spinning by hand. [1913 Webster]

I will the distaff hold; come thou and spin. --Fairfax. [1913 Webster]

2. Used as a symbol of the holder of a distaff; hence, a woman; women, collectively. [1913 Webster]

His crown usurped, a distaff on the throne. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

Some say the crozier, some say the distaff was too busy. --Howell. [1913 Webster]

Note: The plural is regular, but Distaves occurs in Beaumont & Fletcher. [1913 Webster]

{Descent by distaff}, descent on the mother's side.

{Distaff Day}, or {Distaff's Day}, the morrow of the Epiphany, that is, January 7, because working at the distaff was then resumed, after the Christmas festival; -- called also {Rock Day}, a distaff being called a rock. --Shipley. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Distaff Day — Distaff Day, also called Roc Day, is 7 January, the day after the feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff s Day, since it was not really a holiday at all. In many European cultural traditions, women resumed their household work… …   Wikipedia

  • Distaff's Day — Distaff Dis taff, n.; pl. {Distaffs}, rarely {Distaves}. [OE. distaf, dysestafe, AS. distaef; cf. LG. diesse the bunch of flax on a distaff, and E. dizen. See {Staff}.] 1. The staff for holding a bunch of flax, tow, or wool, from which the thread …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Distaff — Dis taff, n.; pl. {Distaffs}, rarely {Distaves}. [OE. distaf, dysestafe, AS. distaef; cf. LG. diesse the bunch of flax on a distaff, and E. dizen. See {Staff}.] 1. The staff for holding a bunch of flax, tow, or wool, from which the thread is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Distaff — Queen Berthe instructing girls to spin flax on spindles using distaffs, Albert Anker, 1888 …   Wikipedia

  • distaff — O.E. distæf stick that holds flax for spinning, from dis bunch of flax (Cf. M.L.G. dise, Low Ger. diesse a bunch of flax on a distaff; see BEDIZEN (Cf. bedizen)) + stæf stick, staff (see STAFF (Cf. staff)). A synonym in English for …   Etymology dictionary

  • Rock Day — Distaff Dis taff, n.; pl. {Distaffs}, rarely {Distaves}. [OE. distaf, dysestafe, AS. distaef; cf. LG. diesse the bunch of flax on a distaff, and E. dizen. See {Staff}.] 1. The staff for holding a bunch of flax, tow, or wool, from which the thread …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Descent by distaff — Distaff Dis taff, n.; pl. {Distaffs}, rarely {Distaves}. [OE. distaf, dysestafe, AS. distaef; cf. LG. diesse the bunch of flax on a distaff, and E. dizen. See {Staff}.] 1. The staff for holding a bunch of flax, tow, or wool, from which the thread …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Maryland Million Distaff Handicap — Restricted State bred Stakes race Maryland Million Distaff Handicap Location Laurel Park Racecourse Laurel, Maryland, United States …   Wikipedia

  • Breeders' Cup Distaff — La Breeders Cup Distaff est l une des épreuves de la Breeders Cup. Elle s adresse aux pouliches et juments de 3 ans et plus, et se déroule sur la distance de 1800 m sur le dirt. NB : la course s est disputée sur 2000 m de 1984 à 1987.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Saint Distaff's Day — Saint Saint (s[=a]nt), n. [F., fr. L. sanctus sacred, properly p. p. of sancire to render sacred by a religious act, to appoint as sacred; akin to sacer sacred. Cf. {Sacred}, {Sanctity}, {Sanctum}, {Sanctus}.] 1. A person sanctified; a holy or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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