A little hussy. A word of slight contempt, though in some counties it seems to mean simply girl, as “Come hither, hussy.” Of course, the word is a corruption of housewife or hussif. In Swedish hustru means woman in general. It is rather remarkable that mother in Norfolk has given rise to a similar sort of word, morther, as “Come hither, morther” —i.e. girl. Neither hussy nor morther is applied to married women. In Norfolk they also say mor for a female, and bor for the other sex. Moer is Dutch for woman in general, and boer for peasant, whence our boor.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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