To be a scold, or a quarrelsome and argumentative woman, was once an offence under common law. In law texts the Latin term used to describe a scold was communis rixatrix, which is the feminine gender, suggesting that only women were prosecuted for the crime.
However, the original sense of scold (the word dates back to the 12th century), someone who uses ribald or abusive language, could refer to a person of either sex, although the OED says it was rarely used of men.
Scolds used abusive or aggressive language but, interestingly, the word scold is believed to derive from the Old Norse skáld meaning poet. Somewhere along the route from poet to quarrelsome woman, the word first changed from poet to lampooning poet or libeller in verse, and from then to the more earthy meaning.
The punishment for being a scold used to be a ducking in the river on a so-called ducking stool. The chair that the unfortunate woman sat in was originally called not a ducking stool, but a cucking stool. People began to call it a ducking stool, since that seemed logical, given that the woman was ducked in water. Cucking is from the old verb to cuck, which is related to cack and means, as the OED delicately puts it 'to void excrement'. The Domesday Book of 1086 calls such a chair in Chester a cathedra stercoris, or 'dung chair'. This chair seemingly exposed a miscreant's buttocks to onlookers (and miscreants could include fraudulent tradespeople as well as common scolds).
Amazingly, the offence of being a common scold, with the accompanying punishment of a ducking, remained on the statute books in English law until 1967.