Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Tomboy.

 Tom o’Bedlams.Tomahawk. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Tomboy.
 
A romping girl, formerly used for a harlot. (Saxon, tumbere, a dancer or romper; Danish, tumle, “to tumble about;” French, tomber; Spanish, tumbar; our tumble.) The word may either be tumbe-boy (one who romps like a boy), or a tumber (one who romps), the word boy being a corruption.   1
       
“A lady
So fair … to be partner’a
With tomboys.”
       
Shakespeare Cymbeline, i. 6
   Halliwell gives the following quotation:—   2
        “Herodias doughter that was a tumb-estre and tumblede before [the king] and other grete lordes of the conré, he granted to geve hure whatevere she would bydde.”
 


 Tom o’Bedlams.Tomahawk. 

 
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