Bicorn to Bill

Bicorn An hypothetical beast supposed to devour all men under petticoat government. It is described as very fat and well liking. There was another beast called Chichevache, which fed on obedient wives, but the famished beast was thinner than the most rascal of Pharaoh's lean kine, for its food always fell short. Of course, bi-corn (two-horns) contains an allusion familiar to all readers of our early literature.

Bid To bid fair. To seem likely: as “He bids fair to do well;” “It bids fair to be a fine day.” (Anglo-Saxon, bédan or beódan, to promise, to offer.)
   To bid for [votes]. To promise to support in Parliament certain measures, in order to obtain votes.
   To bid against one. To offer or promise a higher price for an article at auction.
   I bid him defiance. I offer him defiance; I defy him.

Bid I bid you good night. I wish you good night, or I pray that you may have a good night. This is the Anglo-Saxon biddan, to ask, pray, or intreat. Whence “beads-men” (q.v.), “bidding prayer” (q.v.). “Bid him welcome.”

“Neither bid him God-speed.”- 2 John 10, 11.
   To bid the [marriage] banns. To ask if anyone objects to the marriage of the persons named. “Si quis” (q.v.).
   To bid to the wedding. In the New Testament is to ask to the wedding feast.

Bid-ale An invitation of friends to assemble at the house of a poor man to drink ale, and thus to raise alms for his relief.

“The ordinary amusements in country parishes (in 1632) were church-ales. clerk-ales, and bid-ales, . . . consisting of drinking and sports, particularly dancing.”- T. V. Short, D. D.: History of the Church of England, p. 392.

“Denham, in 1634, issued an order in the western circuit to put an end to the disorders attending church- ales, bid-ales, clerk-ales, and the like.”- Howitt: History of England (Charles I., chap. iii. p. 159).

Bidding Beads Telling off prayers by beads (Anglo-Saxon, biddan, to ask, to pray).

Bidding-Prayer The prayer for the souls of benefactors said before the sermon; a relic of this remains in the prayer used in cathedrals, university churches, etc. Bidding is from bead or bede. (Anglo-Saxon, biddan, to pray for the souls of benefactors.) (See Beadsman. )

Biddy (i.e. Bridget). A generic name for an Irish servant-maid, as Mike is for an Irish labourer. These generic names are very common: for example, Tom Tug, a waterman; Jack Pudding, a buffoon; Cousin Jonathan, an American of the United States; Cousin Michel, a German; John Bull, an Englishman; Moll and Betty, English female servants of the lower order; John Chinaman, a Chinese; Colin Tompon, a Swiss; Nic Frog, a Dutchman; Mossoo, a Frenchman: and many others.
    In Arbuthnot's John Bull Nic Frog is certainly a Dutchman; and Frogs are called “Dutch Nightingales.” The French sometimes serve Liège frogs at table as a great delicacy, and this has caused the word to be transferred to the French; but, properly, Nic Frog is a Dutchman.

Bideford Postman Edward Caporn, the poet (born 1819), so called because at one time he was a letter- carrier at Bideford. He died in 1894.

Bidpai [See Pilpay. ]

Biforked Letter of the Greeks The capital U, made thus Y, which resembles a bird flying.

“[The birds] flying, write upon the sky

“The biforked letter of the Greeks.”
Longfellow: The Wayside Inn, prelude.

Bifrost in Scandinavian mythology, is the name of the bridge between heaven and earth; the rainbow may be considered to be this bridge, and its various colours are the reflections of its precious stones.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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