AskDefine | Define milkmaid

Dictionary Definition

milkmaid n : a woman who works in a dairy [syn: dairymaid]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

milkmaid (plural milkmaids)
  1. A girl or young woman who milked the cows on a farm before milking machines were introduced in the 20th century.

Translations

a young woman who milked the cows on a farm

References

Extensive Definition

''Note: This article is about the occupation. For the flower, see Cardamine californica.
A milkmaid was historically a woman, usually young, who milked cows and supplied milk. She also prepared the dairy products such as cream, butter, and cheese. The term is not a female equivalent of milkman.
In previous centuries, before vaccination became common, milkmaids were sometimes cited as the example of someone with good skin. This was in part due to the fact that their exposure to cowpox gave them immunity to smallpox, so they did not have the "pockmarked" complexion common to smallpox survivors.
In the context of erotic lactation the name is also given to women who supply milk for sexual purposes.

Cultural references

Anecdote

Elizabeth I is quoted as saying to one of her attendants, “That milkmaid’s lot is better than mine, and her life merrier,” in 1554 during her imprisonment as princess, in which she heard a milkmaid singing while working.
milkmaid in Danish: Malkepige
milkmaid in German: Milchmädchen
milkmaid in Norwegian: Budeie
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