(also antlers) an all-purpose term for cuckoldry, a symbol of cuckoldry; usu. in pl.
|Falle of Prynces Bk II line 3358–3366: For off this hous ther was a certeyn knyht [...] To speke pleyn Inglissh, made hym a cokold. Alas, I was nat auysid weel beforn, Oncunnyngli to speke such language; I sholde ha said, how that he hadde an horn, [...] As in sum land Cornodo men do them call.|
|Hickscorner Biii: I am come of goode kynne I tell the[e] My moder was a lady of the stewes blode borne And knyght of the halter my fader ware an horne.|
|Thersytes (1550) C i: Why wylte not thou thy hornes in holde Thinkest thou that I am a cockolde.|
|Proverbs II Ch. x: Either for honour or honestie as good / As she gave hym. She was (as they say) horne wood.|
|Epigrams upon Proverbs cxlix: Thy heare growth through thy whood, is thi whood torne, / Or doth thy heare perse through thy whood, lyke a horne.|
|Bannatyne MSS ‘The Use of Court’ in F&H].(1886) 765: Vp gettis hir wame, / Scho thinkis no schame / For to bring hame / The laird ane horne [|
|Appius and Virginia in (1908) 11: A hairbrain, a hangman, or a grafter of horns?|
|Euphues and his England (1916) 265: She will ever conceal whom she loves; and to wear a horn and not know it will do me no more harm than to eat a fly and not see it.|
|Cobbler of Canterbury (1976) 22: His heade great, his browes broad [...] As no man might hold a scorne On his head to graft a horne.|
|Merry Knack to Know a Knave F: Why tis for this, to see if he can fynd A front whereon to graft a paire of hornes: But in plain tearms he comes to Cuckold me.|
|As You Like It IV ii: Take thou no scorn to wear the horn; It was a crest ere thou wast born.|
|Scourge of Folly 166: Some Cuckolds, though their Caps be of horne, Their heads neuer ake, but highly are borne.|
|Epigrams IV No. 25: Who wishes, hopes, and thinks his wife is true, / To him one horne, or vnicorne is due. / Who sees his wife play false, and will not spy it, / He hath two hornes, and yet he may deny it.|
|City-Night-Cap (1661) 11: That men should ever marry! that we should lay our heads, and take our hornes up out of womans laps.|
|Works (1869) II 266: But when a wife cornutes her husbands head, / He gaines in hornes he holds an extreme Crosse.‘Epigrams’ in|
|Parson’s Wedding (1664) IV i: care.: I hope to exalt the Parson’s horn here. capt.: And what think you? is it not a sweet sin, this lying with another man’s Wife?|
|Mercurius Fumigosus 25 15–22 Nov. 211: Horns, Horns, Horns, Horns, before, behinde, / and eke on every side [...] Good morrow Cuckolds all-a-row; thus go the merry Bells of Bow, Good morrow Cuckolds all-a-row.|
|‘The Rump Carbonado’d’ Rump Poems and Songs (1662) II 69: No sooner exalted was Essex his horn / But God’s law, and man’s too the Cuckold did scorn.|
|Country Wife IV iii: If ever you suffer your wife to trouble me again here, she shall carry you home a pair of horns.|
|Sir Courtly Nice I i: A doctor! a quack [...] we shall see him mount the stage, or stand at the Old—Exchange, and cry a cure for your horns! a cure for your horns!|
|Love and a Bottle IV iii: How I shou’d laugh, to see how gravely his Goose-Caps fits upon a pair of Horns.|
|Answer to the Fifteen Comforts of Matrimony 4: She’ll coax the Dotard when his Bags are full, / Yet even then graft Horns upon his Skull, / Makes him a Beggar to enrich her Cull.|
|in Pills to Purge Melancholy IV 85: And to cut off Cuckolds Scorns, / She decks his Head with Silver horns.|
|Artifice Act IV: I was but a Cuckold in Conceit before! now ev’ry Fool will hang his Hat upon my Horns!|
|Tom Thumb III i: Were he my Husband, his Horns should be as long as his Body.|
|Friar and Boy Pt II 12: Jack at this aloud did laugh, And touted him with scorn; Also he on his head did graft A lusty pair of horns [...] And they began to skip and dance, Like cuckolds all a-row.|
|The She-Gallant 12: If I was married, I should think he smoak’d my horns.|
|Revenge I ii: Let her do what she will, / The husband is still, / And but for his horns you would think him an ass.|
|‘The Coughing Old Man’ Irish Songster 3: What Maid can blame me, / To crown him with horns.|
|Works (1796) IV 224: Lo, thy wickedness at once adorns His trembling temples with a brace of horns.‘Pindariana’|
|Modern Chivalry (1937) Pt II Vol. II Bk III 500: Horns! said she. What can this mean? Mean, said the Captain; every one knows the meaning of the emblem. Antlers is a common place figure for cuckoldom.|
|Spirit of Irish Wit 216: ‘How pretty he [i.e. a lamb] is, he has got no horns.’ [...] ‘That is because he is not married’.|
|‘Brian M’Clahan’ in Universal Songster I 36/2: The priest, people said, / Put an ugly big horn on my dad’s handsome head.|
|Owl (NY) 25 Sept. n.p.: ‘I would rather be dead’ / Than tied to a fiery young jilt, / For antlers would grow on my head.|
|‘Mars & Venus’ Bentley’s Misc. Mar. 247: And, like Italian husbands, he / Now wore his horns resignedly.|
|Polyanthos (NY) 9 June n.p.: [from NY Daily Whig] The butcher knocked him down on his marrow bones for enquiring after his rib [...] But the butcher was still more incensed when he was questioned about horns.|
|Comic Songs 10: Count Flammer the Berk’ley adorns, / Sir Milksop’s returned to his Mother, / And Lord Cuckold’s put up at the Horns.‘Fasionable Arrivals’|
|Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 26 Feb. n.p.: The ladies laugh considerably at his horns!|
|Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 25 Feb. 2/2: Mrs Bushelle gave a Concert [...] The gem of the evening was a new version of ‘charley is my darling’ sung by Mrs Bushelle, accompanied by her husband, with two horns.|
|Young Tom Hall (1926) 299: ‘I was thinking of Horns. Not an unlikely man to wear them, I should say [...],’ giggled his lordship.|
|in Stories the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell (1994) 33: I have herd [sic] men when they are talking about old men being guilty of such [a] thing that the older the Back the stifer the horn.|
|Soldiers Three (1907) 138: And a pair of be-ewtiful sambhur-horns for Doone to wear, free of expense, presented by —.‘The Story of the Gadsbys’|
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 15 Feb. 1/2: Clement Scott has written a hunting-song especially for Her Gracious Majesty Victoria, commencing ‘The horn, the horn, the lusty horn.’ Good old Clement, he evidently knows the royal sporting tastes to a nicety.|
|Forbidden Fruit n.p.: Fancy a boy like you putting horns on the head of his Father!|
|DAUL 101/2: Horns, the. 1. (Among Italians) The symbol of cuckoldry. ‘The guy’s hep (smart) in the grift (racketeering) but he sure lets that chippie (girl) of his put the horns on him something awful.’.et al.|
|Sweet Ride 63: Lola had put horns on the poor guy right from the start.|
indulging in cuckoldry.
|Wkly Rake (NY) 27 Aug. n.p.: Look out, or your head may be as horn-y as your lady’s other affair .|
(W.I.) the offspring of an adulterous relationship.
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|
see separate entry.
a married man.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
|DSUE (1984) 570/1: C.18.|
|Parliament of Women B4: You speak wel in that said Mrs. Bridget Bold-face for why should we toyl and turmoyl for our horn-headed and hard-headed husbands.|
|Writings (1704) 76: From when City Dames first were taught the ill uses / Of Riding and Ruling their Horn-Headed Spouses.‘A Walk to Islington’|
one who cuckolds.
|As You Like It IV i: Virtue is no horn-maker.|
|New Academy V i: But perhaps you ha’ got / Some new found Horn-maker.|
cuckoldry; also attrib.
|Diogenes Lanthorne 9: If the dogge could speake he would beare witnes against his maister for horne worke that he hath seene wrought by his mystris in her chamber.|
|Well met Gossip n.p.: Euery night they sleepe in Horne-work caps.|
|Kind Keeper V i: jud.: If her Husband shou’d come back, he may think her still abroad, and you may have time -- wood.: To take in the Horn-work.|
|Peregrine Pickle (1964) 641: Had my head been fortified with a horn-work, I should not have been so sensible of the stroke.|
|Tristram Shandy (1949) 136: Nor have the horn-works, he speaks of, any thing in the world to do with the horn-works of cuckoldom.|
|Fashionable Levities I i: Horn work—Eh?|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Horn Work. Cuckold making.|
|,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).|
|F&H].Poems ‘Re-inforcements for the Duke’ iii 209: Old H--df--t at horn-works again might be tried [|
|My Cousin in the Army 67: Now th’ horn-work storms behind the curtain.|
to be a cuckold, to be cuckolded.
|‘The Hopeful Bargain’ in Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) IV 208: She [...] left the poor Cuckold alone in the House, / That he by himself his Horn might blow.|
|in Pills to Purge Melancholy V 259: She [...] left the poor Cuckold alone in the House, / That he by himself his Horn might blow.|
|The Boke of Mayd Emlyn line 44: Whan she saw her tyme, And with a prety gynne Gyue her husbande an horne.|
|Every Man Out of his Humour V vii: Remember you are a woman, turn impudent; give him not the head, though you give him the horns.|
|Tragical Hist. of Dr. Faustus I i: I see thou hast a wife, that not only gives thee horns, but makes thee wear them.|
|Miss Lonelyhearts in Coll. Works (1975) 231: No matter how hard he begged her to give Shrike horns, she refused to sleep with him.|
to become the victim of cuckoldry.
|Grim The Collier of Croydon III i: My Head groweth hard, my Horns will shortly spring, Now who may lead the Cuckold’s dance but I?|
|Wily Beguiled 16: A horne plague of this money, / For it causes many hornes to bud: / And for money many men are hornd.|
|May-Day III i: Quintiliano is now carousing in the Emperor’s Head, while his own head buds horns to carouse.|
|Guardian III vi: Horns upon horns grow on him.|
|‘John Anderson My Jo’ in(1979) 120: Or ye shall have the horns, John, / Upon your head to grow; / And that’s the cuckold’s mallison, / John Anderson, my jo.|
1. a promiscuous wife.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
2. a cuckold.
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
to make someone into a cuckold.
|Midnight Spy 124: She esteems it an indispensable part of her duty to plant the horns.|
|Morn. Chron. (London) 30 Nov. 2/4: But since the king’s spouse can plant horns on his brows [etc.].|
|Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 21 Jan. n.p.: [They] planted hornes [sic] upon their spouses’ heads [...] and boasted their infidelity.|
to make someone into a cuckold.
|Rally Round the Flag, Boys! (1959) 92: It was one thing to put horns on your wife when it happened quite unexpectedly.|
1. to jinx.
|DAUL 170/2: Put the horns on. [...] 2. To jinx: to give one bad luck.et al.|
|Complete Guide to Gambling 688: Put the Horns On – to try to influence one’s luck by changing position at a table, carrying a rabbit’s foot, or using any other superstitious device.|
2. to cuckold.
|DAUL 170/2: Put the horns on. 1. To cheat.et al.|
|Carlito’s Way 51: Whose old lady ain’t putting the horns on who.|
(W.I.) to accept that one’s partner is having/has had an affair without making an issue out of it.
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|
to be cuckolded.
|Jacke Drums Entertainment Act V: The leaue proud scorne, And honest selfe made Cuckold, weare the horne.|
|Wit Revived 6: Q. Why is the husband said to weare hornes, and not the wife?|
|‘As I Lay Musing’ in Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) II 64: If right, the woman should wear the horn: / And if each Cuckold his horns should wear, / I should shrewdly fear, / It would be strange to see / Men without horns appear.|
|Hudibras Redivivus I:4 4: While Feet, as well as Heads, wear Horns.|
|Oxford Jrnl 5 May 1/1: The wanton Wife will let the poor Man wear his Horn on his Head with Peace and Quiet.|
|Kentish Gaz. 25 June 4/3: ‘Of Cursing Cuckolds’ A Lord that talk’d of late with idle scorn, / Of some that wore invisbly the horn' / Said ‘he could wish [...] all Cuckolds in the Thames’ [etc.].|
|Morn. Post (London) 22 Dec. 3/2: The Lady’s conduct, her gallantries, at Brighton last summer, have come to his Lordship’s ears, and [...] he has no desire to wear horns.|
|Kentish Gaz. 28 Sept. 4/5: Wit in placards the hat adorns ... / of husbands, proud to wear their horns.|
|Lancaster Gaz. 27 Sept. 4/1: ’Tis no new thing for lovers to wear horns.|
|York Herald 24 Oct. 4/6: A peculiar method of proving their attachment to the marriage state, by running away so frequently with each other’s wives. The husbands, who lose their wives, wear horns.|
|Crim.-Con. Gaz. 13 Apr. 113/1: We are convinced our friend will soon have a pair of antlers to wear.|
|Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 21 Jan. n.p.: He beheld enough to satisfy him that he wore horns.|
|Morn. Chron. (London) 19 Dec. 5/6: We think he is called on somewhat too often to wear the imaginary horns.|
|Dublin Eve. Mail 16 Jan. 1/5: You that would not willingly wear horns. The surest way not to be a cuckold is never to marry.|
|Pink ’Un and Pelican 256: It was the old, old story of a married woman, an unmarried man, and a husband who objected to wear antlers.|
|‘Their Mate’s Honour’ in Roderick (1972) 759: You dinna ken how many men / Should wear their horns for me!|
|Roofs of Paris (1983) 125: Why a cunt as handsome as she is with cash in the bank, should have picked this bearded flea [...] Possibly it’s because he wears his horns so casually.|
|‘Dig that Crazy Corpse’ in Pursuit Mar. (2008) 159: Mrs. Tucker was the co-respondent [...] Gizmo Tucker [was] not only the wearer of big ears but the wearer of big horns, right in the middle of his forehead.|