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Bed-post

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In the twinkling of a bed-post. As quickly as possible. In the ancient bed-frames movable staves were laid as we now lay iron laths; there were also staves in the two sides of the bedstead for keeping the bed-clothes from rolling off; and in some cases a staff was used to beat the bed and clean it. In the reign of Edward I., Sir John Chichester had a mock skirmish with his servant (Sir John with his rapier and the servant with the bed-staff), in which the servant was accidentally killed. Wright, in his Domestic Manners, shows us a chambermaid of the seventeenth century using a bed-staff to beat up the bedding. “Twinkling” means a rapid twist or turn. (Old French, guincher: Welsh, gwing, gwingaw, our wriggle.)

“Iʹll do it instantly, in the twinkling of a bed-staff.”—Shadwell: Virtuoso, 1676.


“He would have cut him down in the twinkling of a bed-post.”—“Rabelais,” done into English.

Bobadil, in Every Man in his Humour, and Lord Duberley, in the Heir-at-Law, use the same expression.

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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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Beaux Yeux (French)
Beaver
Beaver
Becarre, Bemol
Becasse
Becket’s Assassins
Bed
Bed of Justice
Bed of Roses (A)
Bed of Thorns (A)
Bed-post
Bede (Adam)
Bedell
Beder
Bedford
Bedford Level
Bedfordshire
Bediver
Bedlam
Bedlamite
Bedouins [Bed-wins]

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Eye
Twinkling