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Fossa et Furca [pit and gallows]


An ancient privilege granted by the Crown to its vassals, to cast female felons into a ditch, and hang male ones on a gallows.

According to Wharton (Law Dictionary), this furca is not the Latin word, but the Hebrew farkah, to divide. Hence also the servile tenure called Furcam et Flagellum.

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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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Forty Stripes save One
Forty Thieves
Forty Winks
Forwards (Marshal)
Foscari (Francis)
Foss (Corporal)
Fossa et Furca [pit and gallows]
Foster Brother or Sister
Fou Drunk
Foul Proof
Foul-weather Jack
Fountain of Death
Fountain of Youth
Four Kings
Four Letters
Four Masters