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Usage: The Abbess seemed pleased with the novices.
Lady Abbess / mother abbess , British slang term in use from the 17 th to the 19 th century for the madam of a brothel (called a nunnery) either as manager or proprietor. See madam for synonyms. Quote: John Wolcot. Odes to the Pope (1782): ' So an old Abbess, for the rattling rakes / A tempting dish of human nature makes / And dresses up a luscious maid.'
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