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Skimʹmington

.

To ride the skimmington, or Riding the stang. To be hen-pecked. Grose tells us that the man rode behind the woman, with his face to the horse’s tail. The man held a distaff, and the woman beat him about the jowls with a ladle. As the procession passed a house where the woman was paramount, each gave the threshold a sweep. The “stang” was a pole supported by two stout lads, across which the rider was made to stride. Mr. Douce derives “skimmington” from the skimming-ladle with which the rider was buffeted.

1

The custom was not peculiar to Scotland and England; it prevailed in Scandinavia; and Hoefnagel, in his Views in Seville (1591), shows that it existed in Spain also. The procession is described at length in Hudibras, pt. ii. ch. ii.

“‘Hark ye, Dame Ursley Suddlechop,ʹ said Jenkin, starting up, his eyes flashing with anger: ‘remember, I am none of your husband, and if I were you would do well not to forget whose threshold was swept when they last rode the skimmington upon such another scolding jade as yourself.ʹ”—Scott: Fortunes of Nigel.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Skeleton
Skeleton Jackets
Skevington’s Daughter
Skibbereen and Connemara (in Ireland)
Skibbereen Eagle (The)
Skid
Skiddaw
Skied
Skillygolee
Skimble-Skamble
Skimmington
Skin
Skin a Flint
Skin of his Teeth
Skinfaxi
Skinflint
Skinners
Skirt
Skogan (Henry)
Skopts, Skopti, or White Doves
Skull

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Stang
Sweep