Bill of Fare to Bird in the hand

Bill of Fare (A ). A list of the menu provided, or which may be ordered, at a restaurant.

Bill of Health A clean bill of health. A document, duly signed by the proper authorities, to certify that when the ship set sail no infectious disorder existed in the place.
   A foul bill of health is a document to show that the place was suffering from some infection when the ship set sail. If a captain cannot show a clean bill, he is supposed to have a foul one.

Bill of Lading A document signed by the master of a ship in acknowledgment of goods laden in his vessel. In this document he binds himself to deliver the articles in good condition to the persons named in the bill, certain exceptions being duly provided for. These bills are generally in triplicate- one for the sender, one for the receiver, and one for the master of the vessel.

Bill of Pains and Penalties (A ). A legislative act imposing punishment (less than capital) upon a person charged with treason or other high crimes.

Bill of Quantities An abstract of the probable cost of a building.

Bill of Rights The declaration delivered to the Prince of Orange on his election to the British throne, confirming the rights and privileges of the people. (Feb. 13th, 1689.)

Bill of Sale When a person borrows money and delivers goods as security, he gives him a bill of sale, that is, permission to sell the goods if the money is not returned on a stated day.

Bills of Mortality took their rise in 1592, when a great pestilence broke out, which continued till 1595. The term is now used for those abstracts from parish registers which show the births, deaths, and baptisms of the district.
   Within the Bills of Mortality = within the district.

Bills of Parcels An itemised statement of articles purchased. These bills are itemised by the seller.

Billee' (Little ). The youngest of “Three sailors of Bristol city,” who “took a boat and went to sea.”

“There was gorging Jack, and guzzling Jimmy,
And the youngest- he was little Billee,
Now, when they got as far as the equator,
They had nothing left but one split pea.
To gorging Jack says guzzling Jimmy,
`We've nothing left, we must eat we.”'
   [They decide to eat Little Billee, but he contrives to escape.]

Billet-doux [pronounce billy doo ]. French, a love-letter, a sweet or affectionate letter.

Billiards A corrupt form of the French billard. “Autrefois, le bâton avec lequel on poussait les billes”; then “la table verte sur laquelle on joue”; and, lastly, the “game itself.”
   Similar plural forms are the games called bowls, cards, dominoes, draughts, marbles, quoits, skittles, tops, etc.

Billings (Josh ). The nom de plume of H. W. Shaw, an American humorist, who died 1885. His Book of Sayings was published in 1866.

Billingsgate (London). Gate = quay, and bellan is to bawl or bellow. This quay is so called from the shouting of the fishermen in trying to attract attention and vend their fish.
   That's Billingsgate. Vulgar and coarse, like the manners and language of Billingsgate fish-fags.

“Parnassus spoke the cant of Billingsgate.”
Dryden: Art of Poetry, c. 1.
   To talk Billingsgate, i.e. to slang, to scold in a vulgar, coarse style.
   You are no better than a Billingsgate fish-fag, i.e. you are as rude and ill-mannered as the women of Billingsgate fish-market. The French say “Maubert” instead of Billingsgate, as Your compliments are like those of the Place Maubert, i.e. no compliments at all, but vulgar dirt- flinging. The “Place Maubert” has long been noted for its market.

Billingsgate Pheasant (A ). A red herring.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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