from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A scolding or quarrelsome female; a scold.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A scolding or quarrelsome woman; a scold.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A quarrelsome woman; a common scold.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin rixor, “to quarrel”.



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  • Im pretty sure this was my first word I ever saw on Wordnik ..... Ah, the memories..

    July 8, 2012

  • The crime of speaking her mind is punishable by public shaming. A crime called “Communis


    (note the Latin feminine is used here as only women can be charged with this crime).

    The translation of Communis Rixatrix is “the common scold.�?

    According to Jacob’s Law Dictionary, a common scold is a “troublesome and angry woman, who,

    by her brawling and wrangling amongst her neighbours, breaks the public peace.�?

    The punishment for the speaking of one’s mind was to be publicly ducked, that is, to be placed on

    a ‘ducking stool’ and plunged into a nearby body of cold water in the presence of her whole

    community. The last time a woman was indicted as a common scold in the United States was in


    A woman named Marion Dunlevy was arrested, fingerprinted, and indicted as a common scold

    after engaging in an argument with two of her male neighbours over a parked car. The case was

    thrown out but “Communis Rixatrix�? was still on the books in the United States in 1994

    ~University of Regina Lecture, Psychology of Women Class, Copyright of Shauna Born

    January 18, 2009

  • ~a nasty, quarrelsome old woman, usually with a tendency to natter and scold

    January 18, 2009