Common Scold

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Common Scold

A person who frequently or habitually causes public disturbances or breaks the peace by brawling or quarreling.

Scolding, which was an indictable offense at Common Law but is obsolete today, did not involve a single incident but rather the repeated creation of discord.

COMMON SCOLD, Crim. law, communes rixatrix. A woman, who, in consequence of her boisterous, disorderly and quarrelsome tongue, is a public nuisance to the neighborhood.
     2. Such a woman may be indicted, and on conviction, punished. At common law, the punishment was by being placed in a certain engine of correction called the trebucket or cocking stool.
     3. This punishment has been abolished in Pennsylvania, where the offence may be punished by fine and imprisonment. 12 Serg. & Rawle, 220; vide 1 Russ. on Cr. 802 Hawk. B. 2, c. 25, s. 59 1 T. R. 756 4 Rogers' Rec. 90; Roscoe on Cr. Ev. 665.

References in periodicals archive ?
There, in 1829, she was tried on charges of being a common scold due to friction with a group of evangelicals who held services near her Capitol Hill home.
What might be an informative voice from the right has become a carping, common scold drained of credibility.
Second, even if the bishops had a persuasive case to make and the legislative tools at their disposal, their public conduct in recent years--wholesale excommunications, railing at politicians, denial of honorary degrees and speaking platforms at Catholic institutions, using the Eucharist as a political bludgeon, refusing to entertain any questions or dissenting opinions, and engaging in open warfare with the community's thinkers as well as those, especially women, who have loyally served the church--has resulted in a kind of episcopal caricature, the common scolds of the religion world, the caustic party of "no.