Maritornes

(Spanish, bad woman). A vulgar, ugly, stunted servant-wench, whom Don Quixote mistakes for a lord's daughter, and her “hair, rough as a horse's tail,” his diseased imagination fancies to be “silken threads of finest gold.” (Cervantes: Don Quixote.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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