Breviary to Bridport

Breviary An epitome of the old office of matins and lauds for daily service in the Roman Catholic Church. The Breviary contains the daily “Divine Office,” which those in orders in the Catholic Church are bound to recite. The office consists of psalms, collects, readings from Scripture, and the life of some saint or saints.

Brew Brew me a glass of grog, i.e. mix one for me. Brew me a cup of tea, i.e. make one for me. The tea is set to brew, i.e. to draw. The general meaning of the word is to boil or mix; the restricted meaning is to make malt liquor.

Brewer The Brewer of Ghent. James van Artevelde. (Fourteenth century.)
   It may here be remarked that it is a great error to derive proper names of any antiquity from modern words of a similar sound or spelling. As a rule, very few ancient names are the names of trades; and to suppose that such words as Bacon, Hogg, and Pigg refer to swineherds, or Gaiter, Miller, Tanner, Ringer, and Bottles to handicrafts, is a great mistake. A few examples of a more scientific derivation will suffice for a hint:-
   BREWER. This name, which exists in France as Bruhière and Brugière, is not derived from the Saxon briwan (to brew), but the French bruyère (heath), and is about tantamount to the German “Plantagenet” (broom-plant). (See Rymer's Fædera, William I.)
   BACON is from the High German verb began (to fight), and means “the fighter.”
   PIGG and BIGG are from the old High German pichan (to slash).
   HOGG is the Anglo-Saxon hyge (scholar), from the verb hogan (to study). In some cases it may be from the German hoch (high).
   BOTTLE is the Anglo-Saxon Bod'-el (little envoy). Norse, bodi; Danish, bud.
   GAITER is the Saxon Gaid-er (the darter). Celtic, gais, our goad.
   MILLER is the old Norse, melia, our mill and maul, and means a “mauler” or “fighter.”
   RINGER is the Anglo-Saxon hring gar (the mailed warrior)
   SMITH is the man who smites.
   TANNER (German Thanger, old German Danegaud) is the Dane-Goth.
   This list might easily be extended.

Briareos or Ægeon. A giant with fifty heads and a hundred hands. Homer says the gods called him Briareos, but men called him Ægeon. (Iliad, i. 403.)

“Not he who brandished in his hundred hands
His fifty swords and fifty shields in fight,
Could have surpassed the fierce Argantes' might.”
Tasso: Jerusalem Delivered, book vii.
   The Briareus of languages. Cardinal Mezzofanti, who knew fifty-eight different tongues. Byron called him “a walking polyglot; a monster of languages; a Briareus of parts of speech.” (1774-1849.) Generally pronounced Bri'-a-ruce.
   Bold Briareus. Handel (1685-1756).

Briar-root Pipe A pipe made from the root-wood of the large heath (bruyère ), which grows in the south of France.

Briboci Inhabitants of part of Berkshire and the adjacent counties referred to by Cæsar in his Commentaries.

Bric-a-brac Odds and ends of curiosities. In French, a marchand de bric-à-brac is a seller of rubbish, as old nails, old screws, old hinges, and other odds and ends of small value; but we employ the phrase for odds and ends of vertu. (Bricoler in archaic French means Faire toute espèce de metier, to be Jack of all trades. Brac is the ricochet of bric, as fiddle-faddle and scores of other double words in English.)

“A man with a passion for bric-a-brac is always stumbling over antique bronzes, intaglios, mosaics, and daggers of the time of Benvenuto Cellini.”- Aldrich: Miss Mehetable's Son, chap. ii.

Brick A regular brick. A jolly good fellow. (Compare tetragwnoz anhr; “square”; and “four-square to all the winds that blow.”)

“A fellow like nobody else, and, in fine, a brick.”- George Eliot: Daniel Deronda, book ii. chap. 16.

Brick-and-mortar Franchise A Chartist phrase for the 10 household system, now abolished.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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