A word employed in the phrase, To ride Skimmington; that is to ride on a horse with a woman, but behind her, facing backward, carrying a distaff, and accompanied by a procession of jeering neighbors making mock music; a cavalcade in ridicule of a henpecked man. The custom was in vogue in parts of England.
Origin: Etymol. Uncertain. Perhaps the name of some notorius scold.
(01 Mar 1998)
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