Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to maidenhead

maiden (n.)

Old English mægden, mæden "unmarried woman (usually young); virgin; girl; maidservant," diminutive of mægð, mægeð "virgin, girl; woman, wife," from Proto-Germanic *magadin- "young womanhood, sexually inexperienced female" (source also of Old Saxon magath, Old Frisian maged, Old High German magad "virgin, maid," German Magd "maid, maidservant," German Mädchen "girl, maid," from Mägdchen "little maid"), fem. variant of PIE root *maghu- "youngster of either sex, unmarried person" (source also of Old English magu "child, son, male descendant," Avestan magava- "unmarried," Old Irish maug "slave").

Also in Middle English "a man lacking or abstaining from sexual experience" (c. 1200). As the name of a guillotine-like instrument of execution by beheading, from 1580s.

Advertisement
-head 
word-forming element meaning "state or condition of being," Middle English -hede, from a variant of Old English -had, the source of -hood. The only surviving words with it are maidenhead and godhead.
brotherhood (n.)

14c., "fraternal relation, relationship between sons of the same father or mother," from brother + -hood; earlier was brotherhede (c. 1300), with ending as in maidenhead; and Old English had broþerrede, with ending as in kindred. The modern form of the word prevailed from 15c.

Originally "relationship of a brother," also "friendly companionship." Concrete sense of "an association of men for any purpose, a fraternity" is from mid-14c. in the Middle English word (later also "labor union," 1880s). Meaning "a class of individuals of the same kind" is from 1728. Meaning "community feeling uniting all humankind" is from 1784. Old English also had broðorscipe "brothership," broðorsibb "kinship of brothers."

What edge of subtlety canst thou suppose
Keen enough, wise and skilful as thou art,
To cut the link of brotherhood, by which
One common Maker bound me to the kind?
[Cowper, from "The Task," 1785]

***

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Muslims,
And everybody hates the Jews.
[Tom Lehrer, "National Brotherhood Week" lyrics, 1965]
godhead (n.)
c. 1200, "divine nature, deity, divinity," from god + Middle English -hede (see -head). Along with maidenhead, the sole survival of this form of the suffix. Old English had godhad "divine nature." Parallel form godhood is from early 13c., now chiefly restricted to "state or condition of being a god."