from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In the manner or fashion of the Madonna: applied to the arrangement of a woman's hair, in imitation of accepted representations of the Madonna, by parting it in the middle, and bringing it close and low over the temples.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Whatever secret of the past may have hovered over the Fouchet household, the evil bird had not made its nest in madame's breast, that was clear; her smooth, white brow was the sign of a rose-leaf conscience; that dark curtain of hair, looped madonna-wise over each ear, framed a face as unruffled as her conscience.
These were usually coupled with the incongruity of parted hair brought low and madonna-wise over the ears.