a leather thong split into strips at the end, used as a whip
also sp. taws
Origin of tawseprobably plural of obsolete taw, thong, tawed leather ; from taw
plural nounChiefly Scots
- A whip or leather thong used to drive a spinning top.
- A leather whip divided at the end into strips, formerly used to punish children: “Solider Aristotle played the taws / Upon the bottom of a king of kings” (William Butler Yeats).
Origin of tawseFrom taw1.
Apparently a plural form of taw, though attested earlier.