Pandybat meaning

A stout leather strap reinforced internally with whalebone or even lead and used to inflict punishment - especially by using it to strike against the open uplifted hands on schoolboys.

The soutane sleeve swished again as the pandybat was lifted and a loud crashing sound and a fierce maddening...pain made his hand shrink together... - Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, 1916


Origin of pandybat

  • Seems to have been used in Ireland for much of the 20th century. Since James Joyce cites it in the context of a Catholic school in his novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, it may have been a pun on the Latin word pendebat but was more probably derived from the Latin words Pande manum meaning Hold out your hand.
    From Wiktionary