branks

branks (n.) 1590s, of unknown origin, perhaps from North Sea Germanic. An instrument of punishment for women, originally Scottish, it was a kind of iron cage for the head with a metal bit attached to still the tongue.
Paide for caring a woman throughe the towne for skoulding, with branks, 4d. ["Municipal Accounts of Newcastle," 1595]
"Ungallant, and unmercifully severe, as this species of torture seems to be, Dr. Plot, in his History of Staffordshire, much prefers it to the cucking stool, which, he says, 'not only endangers the health of the party, but also gives the tongue liberty 'twixt every dip.' " [Brockett, "A Glossary of North Country Words,"1829].

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bränks — Bränks, Kreis u. Stadt, so v.w. Brianks …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Branks — Brank Brank, Branks Branks, n. [Cf. Gael. brangus, brangas, a sort of pillory, Ir. brancas halter, or D. pranger fetter.] 1. A sort of bridle with wooden side pieces. [Scot. & Prov. Eng.] Jamieson. [1913 Webster] 2. A scolding bridle, an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • branks — noun /bræŋks/ a punishment device, especially for scolding women, consisting of a cage to enclose the head, with a metal gag for the mouth , 1836: Plot, in his History of Staffordshire, describes the branks used at Newcastle under Lyme, and at… …   Wiktionary

  • branks — /brangks/, n. (used with a pl. v.) a device consisting of a headpiece with a flat, iron bit to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds. [1585 95; perh. to be identified with ME bernak bridle, snaffle; see BARNACLE2] * * * …   Universalium

  • branks — North Country (Newcastle) Words a sort of bridle used by country people on the Borders brass money, riches …   English dialects glossary

  • branks — n. instrument of punishment for women composed of an iron headpiece with a flat iron bit to restrain the tongue (used in the past) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • branks — [braŋks] plural noun historical an instrument of punishment for a scolding woman, consisting of an iron framework for the head and a sharp metal gag for restraining the tongue. Origin C16: origin uncertain; cf. Ger. Pranger a pillory or bit for a …   English new terms dictionary

  • branks — [[t]bræŋks[/t]] n. (used with a pl. v.) a headpiece with a flat iron bit to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds • Etymology: 1585–95; perh. to be identified with ME bernak bridle, snaffle < OF …   From formal English to slang

  • branks — interj. žr. brankst: Branks plūgas į akmenį, ir nulūžo Pg …   Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

  • branks — /bræŋks/ (say brangks) plural noun (formerly) a bridle used to punish a scold. {origin uncertain} …   Australian English dictionary

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