distaff

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Related to distaffs: distaff side

distaff

the female line in the pedigree of an animal.
References in classic literature ?
Then what am I making professions for; what am I bragging about; when it is fitter for me to handle the distaff than the sword?
This woman wore on her head a red handkerchief, beneath which trailed long locks of hair in color and shape like the flax on a distaff.
Go, then, within the house and busy yourself with your daily duties, your loom, your distaff, and the ordering of your servants; for speech is man's matter, and mine above all others {10}--for it is I who am master here.