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Brown Bess

means brown barrel. The barrels were browned to keep them from rusting. (Dutch, bus, a gun-barrel; Low German, büsse; Swedish, byssa. Our arquebus, blunderbuss.) In 1808 a process of browning was introduced, but this has, of course, nothing to do with the distinctive epithet. Probably Bess is a companion word to Bill. (See below.)

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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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Broom
Brosier
Brother
Brother German
Brother Jonathan
Brother Sam
Browbeat
Brown
Brown as a Berry
Brown, Jones, and Robinson
Brown Bess
Brown Bill
Brown Study
Browns
Brownie
Brownists
Browse his Jib (To)
Bruel
Bruin
Brumaire
Brummagem

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