Chiefly Scots A whip or leather thong used to drive a spinning top.
Chiefly Scots A leather whip divided at the end into strips, formerly used to punish children: "Solider Aristotle played the taws/Upon the bottom of a king of kings” ( William Butler Yeats).
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.