Cap to Capite Censi

Cap (the verb).
   I cap to that, i.e. assent to it. The allusion is to a custom observed in France amongst the judges in deliberation. Those who assent to the opinion stated by any of the bench signify it by lifting their toque from their heads.
   To cap. To excel.

“Well, that caps the globe.”- C. Bronte: Jane Eyre.

Cap Verses (To). Having the metre fixed and the last letter of the previous line given, to add a verse beginning with the given letter (of the same metre or not, according to prearrangement) thus:
   The way was long, the wind was cold (D).
   Dogs with their tongues their wounds do heal(L).
   Like words congealed in northern air(R).
   Regions Caesar never knew (W).
   With all a poet's ecstasy(Y).
   You may deride my awkward pace, etc. etc.
   Nil pictis timidus navita puppibus(S).
   Sunt quos curriculo pulverem Olympicum(M).
   Myrtoum pavidus nauta secet mare(E).
   Est qui nec veteris pocula Massici(I).
   Illum, si proprio condidit horreo(O).
   O, et presidium ... (as long as you please).
    It would make a Christmas game to cap proper names: as Plato, Otway, Young, Goldsmith, etc., or to cap proverbs, as: “Rome was not built in a day”; “Ye are the salt of the earth”; “Hunger is the best sauce”; “Example is better than precept”; “Time and tide wait for no man”; etc.

Cap and Bells Wearing the cap and bells. Said of a person who is the butt of the company, or one who excites laughter at his own expense. The reference is to licensed jesters formerly attached to noblemen's establishments. Their headgear was a cap with bells.

“One is bound to speak the truth ... whether he mounts the cap and bells or a shovel hat [like a bishop].”- Thackeray.

Cap and Feather Days The time of childhood.

“Here I was got into the scenes of my cap-and-feather days.”- Cobbett.

Cap and Gown The full academical costume of a university student, tutor, or master, worn at lectures, examinations, and after “hall” (dinner).

“Is it a cap and gown affair?”- C. Bede: Verdant Green.

Cap in Hand Submissively. To wait on a man cap in hand is to wait on him like a servant, ready to do his bidding.

Cap of Fools (The). The chief or foremost fool; one that exceeds all others in folly.

“Thou art the cap of all the fools alive.”
Shakespeare: Timon of Athens, iv. 3.
Cap of Liberty When a slave was manumitted by the Romans, a small red cloth cap, called pileus, was placed on his head. As soon as this was done, he was termed libertinus (a freedman), and his name was registered in the city tribes. When Saturninus, in 263, possessed himself of the capitol, he hoisted a cap on the top of his spear, to indicate that all slaves who joined his standard should be free. When Marius incited the slaves to take up arms against Sylla, he employed the same symbol; and when Caesar was murdered, the conspirators marched forth in a body, with a cap elevated on a spear, in token of liberty (See Liberty .)

Cap of Maintenance A cap of dignity anciently belonging to the rank of duke; the fur cap of the Lord Mayor of London, worn on days of state; a cap carried before the British sovereigns at their coronation. Maintenance here means defence.

Cap of Time They wear themselves in the cap of time. Use more ceremony, says Parolles, for these lords do “wear themselves in the cap of time,” i.e. these lords are the favours and jewels worn in the cap of the time being, and have the greatest influence. In the cap of time being, they are the very jewels, and most honoured. (Shakespeare: All's Well, etc., ii. 1.)

Cap-acquaintance (A), now called a bowing acquaintance. One just sufficiently known to bow to.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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