Etymology
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bawdy (adj.)

late 14c., baudi, "soiled, dirty, filthy," from bawd + -y (2). Perhaps influenced by Middle English bauded, bowdet "soiled, dirty," from Welsh bawaidd "dirty," from baw "dirt, filth." Meaning "lewd, obscene, unchaste" is from 1510s, from notion of "pertaining to or befitting a bawd;" usually of language (originally to talk bawdy).

Bawdy Basket, the twenty-third rank of canters, who carry pins, tape, ballads and obscene books to sell. [Grose, "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1785]

Related: Bawdily; bawdiness. Bawdy-house "house of prostitution" is from 1550s.

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ribaldry (n.)

late 14c., ribaudrie, "debauchery, bawdy speech, obscenity or coarseness of language," from Old French ribauderie "debauchery, licentiousness," from ribalt (see ribald). An earlier noun was ribaudie (late 13c.), from Old French ribaudie.

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brothel (n.)
"bawdy house," 1590s, shortened from brothel-house, from brothel "prostitute" (late 15c.), earlier "vile, worthless person" of either sex (14c.), from Old English broðen past participle of breoðan "deteriorate, go to ruin," from Proto-Germanic *breuthan "to be broken up," related to *breutan "to break" (see brittle). In 16c. brothel-house was confused with unrelated bordel (see bordello) and the word shifted meaning from a person to a place.
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stew (n.)
c. 1300, "vessel for cooking," from stew (v.). Later "heated room," especially for bathing (late 14c.). The meaning "stewed meat with vegetables" is first recorded 1756. The obsolete slang meaning "brothel" (mid-14c., usually plural, stews) is from a parallel sense of "public bath house" (mid-14c.), carried over from Old French estuve "bath, bath house; bawdy house," reflecting the reputation of medieval bath houses.
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