What is a “Fair Maiden” Anyway?

What is a “Fair Maiden” Anyway?

A question on most people’s mind this week is, “What is a Fair Maiden anyway?” A reference used in literature, movies, songs (at least one song) and in conversation, I thought it crucial that clarity be given about the topic.

Dictionary Definitions

  • Unmarried girl who is very pleasing to the eye. Nowadays mostly used in a humorous context.
  • A good loving woman. very hot, very loyal. looks out for you when you least expect it.
  • This simply means a beautiful young single lady with good characteristic and qualities.
  • A maiden is an old-fashioned term a girl or an unmarried young woman. If you see the words “Fair maiden!’ you’re probably reading a fairy tale.

Those are the definitions I could dig up, but I don’t believe they flesh out the true meaning of Fair Maiden.


These are examples of images that approach the Fair Maiden representation but not quite. The image on the left is about the knight, not the women. She is just the supporting cast. The image on the right centers on a woman, and at least shows bruising from some unseen involvement in danger.

True “Fair Maiden” Defined

The header image for this post and the images here are originals contracted to artist Delilah to truly represent a Fair Maiden.

Fair Maidens by Delilah
Fair Maiden by Delilah










A Fair Maiden is defined by the following characteristics:

  • Clothed in a beautiful, mid-evil gown, preferably with a cone shaped hat sporting a white veil at its tip that flows gently in the prevailing breeze.
  • Long, flowing hair, either natural or wig affixed to the cone shaped hat by means of hairpins or staples.
  • Immediately available for marriage, or could be so in the next hour if current spouse facing imminent doom.
  • Exceptional ability to scream discreetly as a lady should.
  • Facing impending danger, preferably provided by a dragon able to breathe fire. If a dragon is not available, danger provided by evil knights, demons, steam locomotives, or nasty throne-seeking princes would suffice.
  • Besides the occasion aforementioned scream, expertise in stifled gasps with one hand placed gracefully on her lips. All other vocalizations are refrained upon, but ability for broad, teasing smiles is paramount.
  • Remarkable intelligence and courage, true level never to be revealed to others.
  • Walks with short, smooth strides, never to exceed 0.2 mph.


I am a fiction writer, but research topics and provide posts like the one above for enlightenment and entertainment. If you liked it, please take a look at some of my other posts and my home page, R. A. Andrade. This topic was prompted by the following passage from my novel, The Field Trip:

Looking at her face and hair, both highlighted by the reds of the setting sun, his shoulders slumped. “Lead the way fair maiden.”

“What is a ‘fair maiden’?” she asked.

“Really not important. Let’s do this.”

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