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Taws \Taws\, n. [See Taw to beat.] A leather lash, or other instrument of punishment, used by a schoolmaster. [Written also tawes, tawis, and tawse.]

Never use the taws when a gloom can do the turn.


n. (context chiefly Scotland English) A leather strap or thong which is split into (typically three) tails, used for corporal punishment in schools, applied to the palm of the hands or buttocks.


n. a leather strap for punishing children


The tawse, sometimes formerly spelled taws (the plural of Scots taw, a thong of a whip) is an implement used for corporal punishment. It was used for educational discipline, primarily in Scotland, but also in schools in the English cities of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Manchester and Walsall.

A tawse consists of a strip of leather, with one end split into a number of tails. The thickness of the leather and the number of tails is variable. Many Scottish saddlers made tawses for local schoolmasters. The official name "tawse" was hardly ever used in conversation by either teachers or pupils, who instead referred to it as either the school strap or the belt, the normal term for an unforked implement, as worn in trousers (see belt).

Scottish public (state) schools used the tawse to punish pupils of either sex on the palm of the outstretched hand. Pupils were usually instructed to hold out one hand, palm uppermost, supported by the other hand below, which made it difficult to move the hand away during the infliction of the strokes. It also ensured that the full force of each stroke was taken by the hand being strapped. The punishment was usually inflicted by the class teacher in front of the class, to act as a deterrent to others; sometimes by a designated teacher, such as the Deputy Headmaster, to whom the pupil was sent.

In Walsall and Gateshead, and in some schools in Manchester and Nottingham, male students were tawsed on the seat of the trousers.

Some Scottish private (independent) schools also used the tawse, such as Keil School, but others such as Fettes College used the cane instead, as did most schools in England outside the north-east.

In 1982 a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights about parental choice in education led indirectly to the use of the tawse (and all other forms of corporal punishment) being banned by law in UK state schools. The legislation came into force in 1987, but most Scottish local education authorities had already abolished it by the early 1980s.

Original tawses manufactured in Lochgelly in Fife are now considered collectables and may be sold for several hundred pounds each.

The tawse was also used for judicial corporal punishment in Scotland as an alternative to the more usual birch. Courts could sentence boys of over 14 but under 16 to up to 36 strokes with an extra-heavy tawse for any offence. This was administered to the offender's bare buttocks. Judicial corporal punishment was abolished in 1948.

Usage examples of "tawse".

Cameron, rolling up his sleeves and about to take up a leather tawse about twenty inches long, whose last six inches were split down the middle to form two fingerlike thongs, frowned.

For after the six strokes of the tawse, he seated himself on the chair which she had to quit, then took her over his lap and finished her off with a voluptuous little handsmacking, after which she was bidden to sit upon him and grant him carnal joy, which she did with enthusiastic vigor, no small modicum of which may be said to be attributable to the feverish heat generated in her bare bottom.

And Maude and Alice saw to it that always new culprits were introduced to the disconcerting ordeal of the blindfold, the dome or the straight-backed chair, aware of his keen predilection for watching delightfully contoured bottoms and thighs squirming under the swishing cuts of the birch or noisy smacks of the leafcutter, tawse or spanker.

Friday, which summoned her to the gym there to submit her naked bottomcheeks for the rod or tawse or cane.

Cameron decided to enjoy the revelry of a tourney, and so stated that he proposed to give each girl a dozen over the bottom first with the birch, then an equal dozen with the tawse, and that she who least cried out during the flogging would earn the recompense of his embraces.

Miss Birchington mentioned to me only the other evening that you are not overly tidy in keeping your section of your dormitory quarters neat and clean, and she has the authority, as you know, to have you report on a Friday afternoon for a good smacking with the tawse or a flogging with the birch.

I hope you did not feel the strokes of the tawse on your backside, because I felt each one.

The function of the tawse is to arouse, with the intention of making the recipient excited and ready to accept a good sturdy cock up her cunt.

He caressed her buttocks four more times with the tawse while Lucinda sobbed most convincingly.

Tossing the tawse aside, he loosed his male member, grasped her hips, and slid his love lance into her juicy cunt.

Baudoin examined the flagellary, picking up a tawse and fingering the slit in the center of the leather paddle.

After that, he stepped up to it, and my flesh knew the slap of the tawse, the flat wash of pain where it landed, with a thin sharp line from the slit in the middle that felt as if it split my skin every time it landed.

Above, hanging on the panelled wall, were a selection of corrective devices: a riding crop, a two finger tawse, a small plaited whip, a flat leather paddle.

Her body lifted, writhing away from him as he took a small two fingered tawse from the box.

He laid on the tawse with anger-fuelled intensity, striking her breasts, her white belly, her thighs, the swollen rise of her sex.