Date: Fri, 22 Jul 1994 14:38:09 -0500

From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU

Subject: Iron Maiden?

I just got a note from somebody not in academia who is interested in

finding out the etymology of the expression "iron maiden" or "iron virgin."

Here's part of what he said:

I know what the instrument does (or

did), when, where and how it was used, and that it probably comes to us

from the German "eiserne Jungfrau". But I have been totally unsuccessful

in figuring out anything beyond that. Specifically, why virgin or

maiden? A reference to the Madonna? Was there a famous use of the

instrument on someone who was (or was not) a virgin? I have plenty of

conjectures, but what I'm looking for is someone who has done or knows of

research in the actual derivation of the term.

If you have any information about the term, please send it to kozinski[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] -- you might also post it to the list since others are

probably interested. Thanks.

--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]