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Bawbee

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“Whaʹll hire, whaʹll hirē, whaʹll hire me?

Three plumps and a wallop for ae bawbee.”

The tale is that the people of Kirkmahoe were so poor, they could not afford to put any meat into their broth. A ʹcute cobbler invested all his money in buying four sheep-shanks, and when a neighbour wanted to make mutton broth, for the payment of one halfpenny the cobbler would “plump” one of the sheep-shanks into the boiling water, and give it a “wallop” or whisk round. He then wrapped it in a cabbage-leaf and took it home. This was called a gustin bone, and was supposed to give a rich “gust” to the broth. The cobbler found his gustin bone very profitable.

Jenny’s bawbee. Her marriage portion. The word means, properly, a debased copper coin, equal in value to a half-penny, issued in the reign of James V. of Scotland. (French, bas billon, debased copper money.)

⁂ The word “bawbee” is derived from the laird of Sillebawby, a mintmaster. That there was such a laird is quite certain from the Treasurer’s account, September 7th, 1541, “In argento receptis a Jacobo Atzinsone, et Alexandro Orok de Sillebawby respective.”

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Battledore
Battu
Battu de fol Oiseau (Etre)
Battus paieront (Les)
Baubee
Bauble
Baucis
Baviad (The)
Bavieca
Bavius
Bawbee
Bawley Boat (A)
Bawtry
Baxterians
Bay
Bay the Moon (To)
Bay Salt
Bayadere (bah-ya-dare)
Bayard (Chevalier)
Bayard of the East (The)
Bayard

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