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2973.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:07 am Reply with quote

baste vb
1. To mark sheep.
2. To sew slightly.


2974.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:09 am Reply with quote

basterly-gullion n
A bastard's bastard*.


*Rupert Murdoch?

2975.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:12 am Reply with quote

batement n
The little piece of wood sawn off by a carpenter to make it fit for his purposes.


2976.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:15 am Reply with quote

battleton n
(SHROPSHIRE) Instrument with which a washerwoman beats coarse clothes.
Also, elsewhere,batting-staff,batstaff,batler


2977.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:21 am Reply with quote

battle-twig n
An ear-wig.

battling-stone n
A large smooth stone set in a sloping position at the side of a stream used by washerwomen to beat their linen on.

battom n
A plank as broad as the tree it is sawn from.

baubee n
A copper coin worth about the same as a half-penny.


2978.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:23 am Reply with quote

baudy-basket n
A bad woman who cohabits with an upright man*.


*and who purports to sell thread etc

2979.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:26 am Reply with quote

bawer n
A maker of balls.


2980.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:09 am Reply with quote

Awake, aye, and even moved to post. Banbury, a byword for stupidity and narrow-mindedness was immortalised by Richard Braithwait (1599 - 1673):

To Banbury came I, O profane one!
Where I saw a Puritane-one.
Hanging of his cat on Monday
For killing of a mouse on Sunday

This appeared in a rather racy verse journal called Barnabae Itinerarium, or 'Drunken Barnabee's Journeys to the North of England' by 'Corymbaeus' (1638). The 1911 Encyclopeadia Britannica claims it is full of amusing topographical information and that 'its gaiety is unflagging'.

Braithwait sounds like our kind of guy. As well as being a JP and Deputy-Lieutenant of Westmoreland he was also a prodigious scribbler, writing two books of manners (The English Gentleman and The English Gentlewoman, The Schollers Medley, or an intermixt Discourse upon Historicall and Poeticall Relations (1614), a collection of epigrams and satires entitled A Sirappado for the Diveil (1615), and best of all Natures Embassie; or, the Wildemans Measures; danced naked by twelve satyres (1621), thirty satires which found antique parallels for modern vices.

Which is unlikely ever to be staged in Banburia. (By the way, I can't find any clues in Latin or Italian to what a 'sirappado' is or does).

The present church in Banbury was also the subject of a derogatory ditty:

Dirty Banbury's proud people
Built a church without a steeple

Despite being a reasonably wealthy town, the Banburian grandees had allowed their glorious mediaeval church (one of the finest perpendicular buildings in England according to Pevsner) to fall down, some of it injuring worshippers on a Sunday morning in 1790. They replaced it with a large Georgian box, designed by the rather trendy (for the times) Samuel Pepys Cockerill. He had based his design on Wren's at St Stephen's Walbrook but hadn't reckoned on Banburian stinginess. They ran out of money before the tower had been built, so for the first 30 years of its life the church looked like an ironstone out-of-town warehouse.

On the positive side, it was a gravestone in the churchyard which gave Swift the name Gulliver. And Banbury, somewhat at odds with its Puritanical past, has one of the last corset-makers left in southern England, Silhouette Ltd.

What of the famous cross? The Fyne lady? She still exists, as the Fiennes family (Lord Saye & Sele) still live in Broughton castle. But the cross, being old, beautiful and famous was pulled down in 1600 on the command of the town elders. One of them, Henry Shewell, was moved to shout out, as the top of the cross crashed to earth: 'God be thanked, their god Dagon is fallen down to the ground'. Dagon being the half-man, half-fish God of the Philistines of Canaan, a character that lurks in many an Oxfordshire suburb.

So they rebuilt the cross finally in 1859 to commemorate the marriage of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa to Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia on 25th January 1858. Being Banburians they reduced the planned seven niches to three and contrived to fill them with effigies of Edward VII, King George V and Queen Victoria but only after 55 years had passed.

s: EBR 1911,

Last edited by Menocchio on Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:54 am; edited 1 time in total

2981.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:51 am Reply with quote

Bruxism n
the involuntary grinding of teeth (from Greek brukein, to gnash).

Buckling n
a hot smoked herring, ie one in which the herring is 'nobbed' (head and guts removed), brined and then smoked for three hours at about 80 degrees C, so that the flesh 'cooks'. This is different from the bloater and the kipper, where the fish are salted and then cold smoked for 8-12 hours at 30 degrees C. The good bit is the name - buckling comes from the German, buckling (confusingly applied to the bloater), which derives ultimately from the Dutch, bok, for 'he-goat'. Apparently your hot-smoked herring smells much the same as your hot bloke goat.

s: wrf, BRE,

Last edited by Menocchio on Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:03 am; edited 2 times in total

2982.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 6:53 am Reply with quote

Grazie tante a lei, Signore. Molto interessante.

2983.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:16 am Reply with quote

I cannot find anything even slightly QI about Fine Lady Bakeries of Banbury but a Google on their name reveals associated companies with the alarming names of Butt Foods Ltd and Eurobuns Ltd

2984.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:30 am Reply with quote

I like post 2972

Regarding 'baste' - Samuel Pepys also uses the word in his diaries to mean 'to beat' -
Saturday 1 December 1660 This morning, observing some things to be laid up not as they should be by the girl, I took a broom and basted her till she cried extremely, which made me vexed, but before I went out I left her appeased.

And as any cook knows, it also means to pour fat and juices over the meat while it's roasting to keep it moist.

In its meaning in connection with sewing, when I was a gal and we all had to do needlework at school, the term was used to mean 'to tack together', which is a bit more precise than 'to sew slightly', which is a rather odd usage.

2985.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 7:34 am Reply with quote

Menocchio - I did a google on 'Sirappado' and that encyclopaedia entry is the only thing that comes up. However, the search engine asked if we meant 'Strappado', which is a form of torture. I know from my experiences with the Pepys Diary weblog that errors of scanning creep in, so it could be that the book is actually 'Strappado for the Devil', which makes more sense in a book about laughter and merriment.

In fact - I looked up 'Strappado for the Devil' and got this entry:

Braithwaite, or Brathwaite, Richard (1588-1673).—Poet, born near Kendal, and educated at Oxford, is believed to have served with the Royalist army in the Civil War. He was the author of many works of very unequal merit, of which the best known is Drunken Barnaby’s Four Journeys, which records his pilgrimages through England in rhymed Latin (said by Southey to be the best of modern times), and doggerel English verse. The English Gentleman (1631) and English Gentlewoman are in a much more decorous strain. Other works are The Golden Fleece (1611) (poems), The Poet’s Willow, A Strappado for the Devil (a satire), and Art Asleepe, Husband?

2996.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 8:11 am Reply with quote

A strange connection. Bulimia and bucolic both derive from the Greek for ox, bous. Bucolic is straightforward - from boukolikos, cow herd ('ox' + kolos, cultivate). But bulimia, or 'bulimy' as it was known, means 'ox-hunger' (bous + limos). This must be the sense of ox as 'big', rather than a suggestion that oxen are gluttons. Hungry animals are almost always portrayed as dogs, for example here's the OED's first recorded use of the word in English:

Bolismus is immoderate and vnmeasurable as it were an houndes appetyte. (John Trevisa, 1398)

The original 'dog at broth'.

3000.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 8:19 am Reply with quote

"Buffalo" is also from bous, via boeuf.


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