1759, "midwife (properly, "man-midwife," but in English used without regard to gender), medical practitioner who attends women in childbirth," from French accoucheur (Jules Clément, later 17c.), agent noun from accoucher "to go to childbed, be delivered," from Old French acouchier "deliver" (trans.), "be delivered, give birth" (intrans.), originally simply "to lie down" in one's bed, "go to bed" (12c.), from a- "to" (from Latin ad; see ad-) + Old French culcher "to lie," from Latin collocare, from com- "with" (see com-) + locare "to place," from locus "a place" (see locus). The fem. form, accoucheuse, is attested in English from 1842.
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