E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
To turn Catharine Wheels. To turn head over heels
on the hands. Boys in the streets, etc., often do so to catch a penny or so from trippers and others.
A Catharine-wheel window. A wheel-window, sometimes called a rose-window, with radiating divisions. St. Catharine was a virgin of royal descent in Alexandria, who publicly confessed the Christian faith at a sacrificial feast appointed by the Emperor Maximinus, for which confession she was put to death by torture by means of a wheel like that of a chaff-cutter.