The Taws


The Taws (also sometimes spelt tawes) is a Scottish punishment. It consists of a mid-length heavy leather strap with one or sometimes two splits in it. Up until 1986 it was routinely used in Scottish schools by striking the hands, although former students have said that it was used on the backside in some schools.

I chanced across two annecdotes of young women who were ‘skleped’ across the bare bottom by this fiercesome implement.

One as secretarial student around 1970 and another a 20-something shop worker who was still getting it at home.

I also found some retro real life caning stories, but the archive just crashed and my working window is too small at the moment so I will return to this at some point. Meanwhile here is a picture.

9 Responses to “The Taws”

  1. The taws or the strap as we used to call it was used when I was at school here in the UK in the 60’s. Errant pupils were sent to the office to collect the strap along with the punishment book, then taken to the Deputy Head, I only ever received it across my hand and can’t remember whether it was also used over the bottom. I don’t think it was that painful but was certainly gave one “bragging rights” for a short period.

  2. 3 Nigel

    I own an exact replica of the Lochgelly tawse. It’s 9mm thick buffalo hide. It would be the same as the original XH (extra heavy/hard). I’ve used it on quite a few bottoms, with all of them enjoying a caning. Their unanimous response after feeling the tawse was shock and delight. It imparts what I describe as being a heavy “splat”. Not a line of fire like the cane, but a band of intense heat, which builds beautifully with continued application. I use it almost exclusively on bare bottoms, but I did use it once on hands by request. The result was some dancing around with hands under their armpits.

  3. 4 DJ

    I think it was mostly used on the hand in Scotland and North East England – but as you say that was not its only use.

    In the past there were reports of Nuns at a prep school for young women considering being nuns applying it to bottoms and even bare bottoms – hard to verify.

    Also one woman said that when she was 18 she played piano and so she was strapped on the bottom instead of the hands.

    • 5 william allman

      getting tawsed on the bottom would hurt just as much

      sitting on the piano seat bench to play piano would be very sore and irratting would it not. lol William

    • 9 williamallman


      I left on comment on the girl who got the tawse on her bum

      very hard sitting on the piano bench playing the piano afterwards right lol

      write when you can


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