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WAIFS. Stolen goods waived or scattered by a thief in his flight in order to effect his escape.
     2. Such goods by the English common law belong to the king. 1 Bl. Com. 296; 5 Co. 109; Cro. Eliz. 694. This prerogative has never been adopted here against the true owner, and never put in practice against the finder, though against him there would be better reason for adopting it. 2 Kent, Com. 292. Vide Com. Dig. h.t.; 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 239, n.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
The allusion to the waifs and waif-poles in the last chapter but one, necessitates some account of the laws and regulations of the whale fishery, of which the waif may be deemed the grand symbol and badge.
It could never be the same, of course, but yet, day by day, she found her mother-love, enveloping the waif more closely until she sometimes sat with closed eyes lost in the sweet imagining that the little bundle of humanity at her breast was truly her own.
2) My curse on him whoe'er unrived The waif's fell fetters and my life revived!
The waifs and strays in the title could actually refer to Micah Ballard's wayward lines as they drift in and line up.
Leading the pack are the Waifs, Cat Power and Ani DiFranco.
All are well-known artists, but especially in the case of the Waifs and DiFranco, they got to be household names by supporting their own releases through touring and winning over listeners in concert.
It also involved the rise of activist organizations working with the state on behalf of children, like the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Dr Barnardo's, the Children's Society and the Waifs and Strays Society.
Where Jackson's Child Sexual Abuse in Victorian England (2000) was able to construct detailed discussions of particular incidents from court records and reports and the sometimes fragmentary case files of organizations like the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Children's Society or the Waifs and Strays, Barrett and Brown do not have the same material at hand.
Danu are up against The Waifs, plus Eliza Carthy's and Kate Rusby's respective bands.
In a move that will either strike a final blow to the waifs domination of the fashion world or send drag queens running for flannel shirts, Miramax Films co-chairman Harvey Weinstein is set to make his cross-dressing debut.
While the film is a selection for official competition at this week's Cannes Film Festival, fashion-watchers and those looking for an end to the waif's domination of the fashion scene will have to wait until the film's release this fall (now slated for November) to see what ensemble will adorn the zaftig silhouette of the Miramax topper.
The Waifs make their Eugene debut Tuesday, back touring the United States after two years away.