late 14c., "a feeble and withered old woman," in Middle English a strong term of abuse, from Anglo-French carogne "carrion, carcass; an old ewe," also a term of abuse, from Old North French carogne, Old French charogne, term of abuse for a cantankerous or withered woman, also "old sheep," literally "carrion," from Vulgar Latin *caronia (see carrion).
Perhaps the "old ewe" sense is older than the "old woman" one in French, but the former is attested in English only from 16c. Since mid-20c. the word has been somewhat reclaimed in feminism and neo-paganism as a symbol of mature female wisdom and power.
c. 1600, "punish by exposure in the pillory," from pillory (n.). Figurative sense of "expose publicly to ridicule, contempt, or abuse" is from 1690s. Related: Pilloried.