Brank meaning

brăngks
The definition of a brank was a torture device used on women who were found guilty of being noisy, prone to arguments or gossip.

An example of a brank is a metal cage worn around a woman who gossiped in the Middle Ages.

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A device consisting of a metal frame for the head and a bit to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds.
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A device formerly used to punish women judged to be noisy and quarrelsome, consisting of an iron curb for the tongue, held in place by a frame around the head.
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(usually in the plural) A metal bridle formerly used as a torture device to hold the head of a scold and restrain the tongue.
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To put someone in the branks.
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(UK, Scotland, dialect) To hold up and toss the head; applied to horses as spurning the bit.
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(Scotland) To prance; to caper.

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(UK, dialect) Buckwheat.

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Origin of brank

  • Possibly from Dutch branken legs (of a compass, scissors, etc.) pl. of branke branch from Late Latin branca paw branch
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Probably of Celtic origin; compare Latin brance, brace, the Gallic name of a particularly white kind of corn.
    From Wiktionary
  • Compare Gaelic brangus, brangas, a sort of pillory, Irish brancas, halter, or Dutch pranger, fetter.
    From Wiktionary