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Examples

  • A subtle and profound instinct warns him, that with the increased intelligence and economic freedom of woman, he, and such as he, might ultimately be left sexually companionless; the undesirable, the residuary, male old-maids of the human race.

    Woman and Labour

  • While the old-maids 'pinks were nodding groups of gossips, here and there,

    Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse

  • Are ye goin 'to let me stand here -- me that has seen your grands'rs pump -- and have it said that old Niag'ry was licked by a passul of knittin'-work old-maids, led by an elephant and a peep-show man?

    The Skipper and the Skipped Being the Shore Log of Cap'n Aaron Sproul

  • And when the children came along I was permitted to bring them up according to my own ideas, thanks to the entire absence from the country of inspired old-maids, and omniscient editors, ceaselessly endeavoring to reduce a natural maternal function to an arbitrary science.

    The Autobiography of Methuselah

  • Her godmother had twice written to her, and this year she was expected to visit Interlachen with her two daughters; "but they are old-maids," added Babette, who was only eighteen: "they are nearly thirty."

    Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen

  • For a long time I sat by the window and talked to Billy in my mind and told him what I thought of men old-maids and prissy places and gossipy spinsters and flirtatious widows, and of people who didn't have anything to talk of but one another; and then, as the moon came out clearer, I seemed to see myself clearer also, and after a while it came over me that maybe I had been a little nicer to

    Kitty Canary

Comments

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  • usage note on tarpon.

    I've heard others call the partially-popped kernels of popcorn "old maids" before, but haven't heard the term applied to fish (much less the term with a hyphen).

    March 18, 2008