Banneret to Barbary

Banneret One who leads his vassals to battle under his own banner. A knight made in the field was called a banneret, because the chief ceremony was cutting or tearing off the pointed ends of his banner.

Bannière Cent ans bannière, cent ans civière. The ups and downs of life. A grand seigneur who has had his banner carried before him for a century, may come to drive his hand-barrow through the streets as a costermonger.

Bannière Il faut la croix et la bannière pour l'avoir. If you want to have him, you must make a great fuss over him - you must go to meet him with cross and banner, "aller au devant de lui avec un croix et la bannière."

Banns of Marriage The publication in the parish church for three successive Sundays of an intended marriage. It is made after the Second Lesson of the Morning Service. To announce the intention is called "Publishing the banns," from the words "I publish the banns of marriage between ... " (Anglo-Saxon, ge-bannan, to proclaim, to announce).

To forbid the banns. To object to the proposed marriage.

"And a better fate did poor Maria deserve than to have a banns forbidden by the curate of the parish who published them." - Sterne: Sentimental Journey.
Banquet used at one time to mean the dessert. Thus, Taylor, in the Pennyless Pilgrim, says: "Our first and second course being threescore dishes at one boord, and after that, always a banquet." (French, banquet; banc, a bench or table. We use "table" also for a meal or feast, as "the funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage table," i.e. feast.)

"After supper ... a delicate banquet, with abundance of wine." - Cogan (1583).
A banquet of brine. A flood of tears.

"My heart was charged to overflowing, and forced into my eyes a banquet of brine." - O. Thomson: Autobiography, p. 263.
Banquo A Scotch general of royal extraction, who obtained several victories over the Highlanders and Danes in the reign of Donald VII. He was murdered by the order of Macbeth, and his ghost haunted the guilty usurper. (Shakespeare: Macbeth.)

Banshee The supposed domestic spirit of certain Irish or Highland Scottish families, supposed to take an interest in its welfare, and to wail at the death of one of the family. The Welsh "Cyhydraeth." is a sort of Banshee.

The distinction of a Banshee is allowed only to families of pure Milesian stock. (Gaelic, ban-sith, a womanfairy.)

Bantam A little bantam cock. A little plucky fellow that will not be bullied by a person bigger than himself. The bantam cock will encounter a dunghill cock five times his own weight, and is therefore said to "have a great soul in a little body." The bantam originally came from Bantam, in Java.

Banting Doing Banting. Reducing superfluous fat by living on meat diet, and abstaining from beer, farinaceous food, and vegetables, according to the method adopted by William Banting, a London cabinet- maker, once a very fat man (born 1796, died 1878). The word was introduced about 1864.

Bantling A child. Mahn suggests the German, bänkling, a bastard. (Query, bandling, a little one in swaddling-clothes.)

Banyan A Hindû shopkeeper. In Bengal it denotes a native who manages the money concerns of a European, and also serves as an interpreter. In Madras such an agent is called Dubash (i.e. one who can speak two languages). (See Banian Days.)

Bap or Baphomet. An imaginary idol or symbol, which the Templars were said to employ in their mysterious rites. The word is a corruption of Mahomet. (French, Baphomet; Old Spanish, Matomat.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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