distaff (n.) Old form(s): Distaffe, Distaffes
device for weaving, spindle
Cym V.iii.34[Posthumus to Lord, of the youths' nobleness] which could have turned / A distaff to a lance [i.e. made a woman fight]
KL IV.ii.17[Gonerill to Edmund] I must change arms at home and give the distaff / Into my husband's hands
TN I.iii.97[Sir Toby to Sir Andrew, of his hair] it hangs like flax on a distaff
WT I.ii.37[Hermione to Leontes, of Polixenes and Bohemia] We'll thwack him hence with distaffs
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL