Maid is also a shortened form of "maiden", an archaic word for an unmarried woman or a virgin.
A maid (also known as a housegirl in Commonwealth english) is a female servant, working, and frequently, particularly in the past, living in their employer's house. The larger the house, and the wealthier the owner, the more maids and other servants would be employed.
Maids undertook a wide variety of tasks, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, preparing food, serving meals and drinks, answering the door and greeting guests, or helping the lady of the house to dress. In many establishments a maid would specialise in some of these roles, and would work her way up an internal hierarchy, from being an under-maid or scullery maid, who did the dirtiest jobs, to the role of cook, housekeeper or ladies maid.
A maid would be required to be respectful of her employer's and their guests, often having to stand still when one came past, to curtsey in greeting, and to address them with terms such as Sir, Madam, My Lord or My Lady. The hierarchy among the servants could, if anything, be stricter than in their relationships with their employers.
Maids would usually have been required to wear a uniform, often a hat, dress and apron. One popular erotic type is the French maid, in high heels, stockings and suspenders, short black dress showing the stocking tops, underlaid with lace petticoats, an apron and a cap. Many of these items would be decorated with white lace.
Once part of an elaborate hierarchy in great houses, today a single maid may be the only domestic worker that upper- and even middle-income households can afford, as was always the case for many households. In the Western world, comparatively few households can afford live-in domestic help, usually compromising on periodic cleaners. In less developed nations, very large differences in the income of urban and rural households and between different socio-economic classes, fewer educated women and limited opportunities for working women ensures a labour source for domestic work.
Maids perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, walking the family dog, and taking care of children. In many places in some poor countries, maids often take on the role of a nurse in taking care of the elderly and people with disabilities. Many maids are required by their employers to wear a uniform
Types of maid
Maids traditionally have a fixed position in the hierarchy of the large households, and although there is overlap between definitions (dependent on the size of the household) the positions themselves would typically be rigidly adhered to. The usual types of maid are:
- Head house parlour-maid (alternatively known as head housemaid or head parlour-maid); answerable to the housekeeper or butler.
- House parlour-maids (or simply housemaid), or under house parlour-maid, if there is only one; answerable to the head house parlour-maid or in the case of an under house parlour-maid, to the house parlour-maid.
- Chambermaids (also known as housemaids) — a chambermaid is a maid who specifically cleans and cares for bedrooms, and is a more common term in hotels
- Nursery maid — specifically for looking after children; generally answerable to the nanny.
- Kitchen maid - answerable to the cook.
- Between maid — a potentially difficult role picking up miscellaneous jobs and (problematically) answerable to the housekeeper, butler, and cook.
- Scullery maid (also known as the cinder maid); answerable to the cook.
- Lady's maid — outside of the normal hierarchy, the lady's maid was a senior servant who reported directly to the lady of the house.
However, in many households a single Maid-of-all-work or skivvy was all the staff there was. In several developing countries, working as a maid is still one of the main possibilities a poor young girl may have to earn an income.
In popular culture
One of the most in-depth and enduring representations of the lives of several levels of maid was seen in the 1970s television drama (set in 1900s–1930s England), Upstairs, Downstairs.
Maids in spanking art
Maids in fetish films
- Adept Maid Institute (Harmony Concepts, 2004)
- All Spick and Spanked (Pacific Force)
- A Maid's Tail (Brooks Applications)
- A Maid's Tears (Brooks Applications)
- Attitude Adjustment (Bizarre Video, 2010)
- A Victorian Maid (California Star)
- The Bare Bottom Maid & Truancy Thrashing (Moonglow)
- Birching for Remembrance & Late Night Maid (California Star)
- Birchington Manor 1-3 (Strictly English)
- Bound Maid (Harmony Concepts, 1996)
- Brittany's Bad Little Maid (Brittany O'Connell, 1996)
- The Butler Did Them (Shadow Lane)
- Chambermaids - American Spanking Classics #23 (Calstar)
- The Christmas Quiet (Lupus Pictures)
- CP Administration / Discipline School / The Insolent Maid (Moonglow)
- The Curse of Sir Frederick (Lupus Pictures)
- Direct Your Own Spanking Video (Pacific Force)
- Domestic Maid Service (GwenMedia, 2004)
- Fifi The French Maid (Harmony, 1993)
- Five Fractious Maids (Harmony, 1994)
- The Games We Play (Brooks Applications)
- Got It Maid (California Star, 2004)
- Hard Discipline 2: The Lady's Maid (Shadow Lane, 1995) - Alexis Payne, Amanda Morrison
- Home Maid Memories 1-3 (Bon-Vue Enterprises, 1994-1995)
- The Invitation & Surrogate Maid (California Star)
- The Knotty Maid (Harmony Concepts) - Star Chandler, directed by Chelsea Pfeiffer
- Lady and Her Maid (Bizarre Video, 1990)
- Lazy Maids (Pain4fem)
- Maid (Vid-Tech Films, 1995) - Kerri Downs
- Maid Anika (Whipped Women)
- The Maid (Mood Pictures, 2009)
- Maids for the Birch (Moonglow)
- Maid for Bondage (L.B.O. Entertainment, 1993)
- Maid for Caning (California Star)
- Maid for Master (B&D Pleasures, 2004)
- Maid for Pain (Dungeon Video International, 1991)
- Maid for Punishment (Bizarre Video, 1993) - Tanya Foxx
- Maid for Punishment (Raven Hill Studios)
- Maid for Punishment (RealSpankings.com, 2004), Trailer
- Maid for Spanking (London Ent., 1997) - Greta Carlson
- Maid for Tears (London Ent.)
- Maid in Milford (Sting-Ray Prods., 2008)
- Maid Service (California Star)
- Maid to be Naughty (Harmony, 1999)
- Maid to be Naughty (Chelsea Pfeiffer Entertainment)
- Maid to Beat (Dungeon Video Intl., 1994) - Kerri Downs
- Maid to Serve (Cheeky Video Productions)
- Maid to Serve (Miss Marchmont)
- Maids for Spanking (Vid-Tech Films, 1997) - Kerri Downs
- Maids of Dishonor (Premiere Prods.)
- The Maid's Revenge (Moonglow)
- Maid Upstairs (London Ent.)
- My Maid Maria (Harmony)
- Nude Bondage Maid Service (Harmony, 1998)
- Of Misses and Maids (Firm Hand Spanking)
- Parlour Maid Punishments (Northern Spanking, 2009)
- Psychologist and the Housekeeper (Harmony, 1997)
- Russian Slaves #08 - Part 1. Interview. Part 2. Maid (Nettles Corp.)
- Russian Slaves #18 - Discipline of a Maid in St. Petersburg (Nettles Corp.)
- Russian Slaves #19 - Training of Serf-Girl (Nettles Corp.)
- Service (Shadow Lane) - Samantha Woodley as a French maid
- Sharon's Nude Bondage Maid (Harmony, 1998)
- Slovenly Maid Spanked (Northern Spanking)
- Soul of Honor (Lupus Pictures)
- Spanked Asian Girls II (Pacific Force)
- Spanker's Paradise #1 (Bizarre Video) - Vida Garman
- Tales from the Whip (London Ent.) - Kiri Kelly
- Training The Maid: Bianca (RickSavage.com, 1998) - Rick Savage
- Training The Maid: Rosa (RickSavage.com)
- The Unlearn't Lesson (Brooks Applications)
- Un-maid For Each Other (Chelsea Pfeiffer Entertainment, 1999)
- The Way of a Man and His Maid (Miss Marchmont) - Leia-Ann Woods
Illustration from Trente ans by N. Carman (1928).