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faggot | fagot, n.

Forms:  ME faget(t, ME–15 faggott, ME fagatt, fagot(t, 15 fagget, Sc. faggat, ME– fagot, ME– faggot. See also fagald n.(Show Less)
Etymology: < French fagot, of unknown origin; compare Italian fa(n)gotto.
 1. A bundle of sticks, twigs, or small branches of trees bound together:

 a. for use as fuel.

1398   J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomew de Glanville De Proprietatibus Rerum (1495) xvii. cxlix. 703   Thornes..ben bounde in faggottes..and brent in ouens.
a1400  (a1325)    Cursor Mundi (Gött.) l. 3164   Ȝong ysaac a fagett broght.
1478   in S. Tymms Wills & Inventories Bury St. Edmunds (1850) 77   The price of the c fagots iijs vjd.
1578   Gude & G. Ball. (1868) 92   As the flame burning quhair it can find The faggat.
1649   W. Blith Eng. Improver vii. 42   Thou must take good greene Faggots.
1770   O. Goldsmith Deserted Village 133   To pick her wintry fagot from the thorn.
1821   J. Clare Village Minstrel I. 128   Goody begg'd a helping hand To heave her rotten faggot up.
1866   J. E. T. Rogers Hist. Agric. & Prices I. xviii. 424   In all probability the fagot was of very various sizes.

1398—1866(Hide quotations)


b. Mil. for use in fascines. Obs.

c1450  (c1400)    Sowdon of Babylon (1881) l. 285   Fagotis to hewe..And fille the dikes faste anoon.
1548   Hall's Vnion: Henry VI f. cxij   Castyng faggottes into the diches.
1603   R. Knolles Gen. Hist. Turkes 1064   [He] would oftentimes..carrie a fagot..before him..for the raising of the mount.
1711   J. Addison Spectator No. 165. ¶3   The Black Prince..filled a Ditch with Faggots as successfully as the Generals of our times do it with Fascines.

c1450—1711(Hide quotations)


 a. With special reference to the practice of burning heretics alive, esp. in phrase fire and faggot; †to fry a faggot , to be burnt alive; also, to bear a faggot , to carry a faggot , as those did who renounced heresy. Hence fig. the punishment itself.

1563   J. Foxe Actes & Monuments 985/1   Running out of Germanye for feare of the fagot.
1621   R. Montagu Diatribæ Hist. Tithes 44   You deserued to fry a fagot.
1649   Bp. J. Hall Resol. & Decisions iii. v. 274   Fagots were never ordained by the Apostle for arguments to confute hereticks.
1667   M. Poole Dialogue between Popish Priest & Protestant (1735) 101   You answer our Arguments with Fire and Faggot.
1721   J. Strype Eccl. Memorials I. viii. 86   He should go before the cross bare-headed..carrying a faggot on his shoulder.
1741   I. Watts Improvem. Mind i. xiv. 195   Mitres or Faggots have been the Rewards of different Persons according as they pronounced these consecrated Syllables, or not pronounced them.
1807   J. Barlow Columbiad iv. 144   Racks, wheels and crosses, faggots, stakes and strings.
1868   J. H. Blunt Reformation Church of Eng. I. 85   Wolsey caused them to carry a faggot to the fire..Henry placed them in the midst of actual faggots.
1888   J. Gairdner in Dict. National Biogr. XIII. 30/2   It is not easy to answer arguments in prison, with fire and faggots in the background.

1563—1888(Hide quotations)


 b. The embroidered figure of a faggot, which heretics who had recanted were obliged to wear on their sleeve, as an emblem of what they had merited.

1706   in Phillips's New World of Words (new ed.)   
1823   G. Crabb Universal Technol. Dict.  

1706—1823(Hide quotations)

 3. In wider sense.

 a. A bundle or bunch in general, e.g. of rushes, herbs, etc.

1489   Caxton tr. C. de Pisan Bk. Fayttes of Armes i. xiv. 38   Fagotis and bondellis of rede.
?1542   H. Brinkelow Complaynt Roderyck Mors xiii. sig. D1v   Yet must he..pryuyly beare a fagot of russhes in his chamber.
1555   R. Eden tr. Peter Martyr of Angleria Decades of Newe Worlde i. ii. f. 5v   They founde faggottes of the bones of mennes armes and legges.
1723   J. Nott Cook's & Confectioner's Dict. sig. D6v   A Faggot of sweet Herbs.
1736   Compl. Family-piece i. ii. 94   A little Faggot of Thyme, Savory, and Parsley.
1906   Mrs. Beeton's Bk. Househ. Managem. (rev. ed.) lxi. 1638   The little bunch or fagot of herbs..usually consists of two or three sprigs of parsley, a sprig of thyme, and a bayleaf.
1960   Harper's Bazaar Oct. 153/1   The traditional faggot of mixed herbs.

1489—1960(Hide quotations)


 b. fig. A ‘bundle’, collection (of things not forming any genuine unity).

1650   W. Cradock in C. H. Spurgeon Treasury of David (1874) IV. Ps. lxxxiii. 1   That he may..gather the wicked into one fagot..that they may be destroyed together.
1742   H. Walpole Corr. (ed. 3) I. xxxviii. 154   My faggot of compliments.
1782   in Baker Biogr. Dram. (1812) iii. 260   A faggot of utter improbabilities.
1854   R. W. Emerson Quot. & Orig. in Wks. (1906) III. 214   The psalms and liturgies of churches are..a fagot of selections.

1650—1854(Hide quotations)


 4. A bundle of iron or steel rods bound together.

1540   Act 32 Hen. VIII c. 14   Item for euery last of faggottes of yron iiii. s.
1640   in J. Entick London (1767) II. 181   For a faggot of steel 0 1d.
1706   Phillips's New World of Words (new ed.)    Faggot of Steel (in Traffick) the Quantity of 120 Pound-Weight.
1721–1800   in N. Bailey Universal Etymol. Eng. Dict.  
1825   ‘J. Nicholson’ Operative Mechanic 338   This is termed a faggot [of iron], being about 12 or 14 inches long, and six inches square.
1881   W. W. Greener Gun & its Devel. 221   The bars were then..fastened into a faggot.

1540—1881(Hide quotations)


 5. (See quot. 1851.)

1851   H. Mayhew London Labour II. 227/2   He..made his supper..on ‘fagots’. This preparation..is a sort of cake, roll, or ball,..made of chopped liver and lights, mixed with gravy, and wrapped in pieces of pig's caul.
1858   G. A. Sala Journey due North 308   The curious viands known in cheap pork-butchery..as Faggots.
1881   in Oxford Gloss. Supp.  

1851—1881(Hide quotations)


 a. A term of abuse or contempt applied to a woman (orig. dial.) Also in extended uses.

1591   T. Lodge Catharos f. 4v   A filbert is better than a faggot, except it be an Athenian she handfull.
1840   R. H. Barham Grey Dolphin in Ingoldsby Legends 1st Ser. 88   ‘What's that you say, you old faggot?’
1862   Mrs. H. Wood Mrs. Halliburton's Troubles II. xxi. 233   She..struck at me, she did, the good-for-nothing faggot!
1882   E. L. Chamberlain Gloss. W. Worcs. Words 11   Faggit, a term of reproach used to children.
1900   Eng. Dial. Dict. II. 278/2   To a stray cow: ‘Come out o' that, ye old faggot.’
1922   J. Joyce Ulysses iii. xviii. [Penelope] 690   That old faggot Mrs Riordan.
1925   D. H. Lawrence Refl. Death Porcupine 176   To me she [sc. a cow] is fractious, tiresome, and a faggot. Yet the subtle desirableness is in her, for me.
1969   Sunday Mirror 9 Feb. 35   'Urry up wi' that glass o' beer, you lazy faggot!

1591—1969(Hide quotations)


 b. A (male) homosexual. slang (orig. and chiefly U.S.).

1914   L. E. Jackson & C. R. Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Slang 30 s.v.   Drag, Example: ‘All the fagots (sissies) will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight.’
1926   C. Wood & G. Goddard Dict. Amer. Slang 16   Fagot, a chorus man; an effeminate man.
1936   J. Dos Passos Big Money (1937) 273   The first thing Marge thought was how on earth she could ever have liked that fagot.
1962   H. Kane Killer's Kiss xxvii. 207   Duffy was no queen, no platinum-dyed freak, no screaming faggot.
1966   New Statesman 18 Mar. 392/3   The American word ‘faggot’ is making advances here over our own more humane ‘queer’.
1970   New Yorker 28 Nov. 21/2   A gathering of homosexuals..a Jew, a Negro, a butch faggot, a nellie faggot.

1914—1970(Hide quotations)


7. A person temporarily hired to supply a deficiency at the muster, or on the roll of a company or regiment; a dummy. Obs.

1699   B. E. New Dict. Canting Crew   Faggots, Men Muster'd for Souldiers, not yet Listed.
1708   Brit. Apollo No. 105. 4/1   You may be some Faggot to pass at a Muster.
a1753   P. Drake Mem. (1755) II. iii. 75   The Adjutants..came to treat and settle with me about the Fagots (Men deficient of the Number of Workmen, ordered from each Regiment).
1756   Ld. Chesterfield Connoisseur No. 102. 618   William, a Faggot in the First Regiment of the Guards.
1802   in C. James New Mil. Dict.  

1699—1802(Hide quotations)


 8. = faggot-vote n.

1817   Sir F. Burdett in Parl. Deb. 1st Ser. 1368   These faggots..returned the two members to the House of Commons.
1879   Daily News 16 Apr. 6/6   He..had not the slightest doubt he would win, unless he were to be swamped by faggots.
1884   Truth 13 Mar. 374/1   The art of manufacturing fagots.

1817—1884(Hide quotations)


 9. In various occasional uses: (see quots.).

1727   R. Bradley Chomel's Dictionaire Oeconomique (Dublin ed.) (at cited word)   Faggots of Oranges, Orange-Peels turn'd or par'd very thin, in order to be preserv'd.
1867   W. H. Smyth & E. Belcher Sailor's Word-bk. 287   Fagot, a billet for stowing casks.
1880   T. Q. Couch E. Cornwall Words in M. A. Courtney & T. Q. Couch Gloss. Words Cornwall   Faggot..a secret and unworthy compromise.

1727—1880(Hide quotations)



 C1. General attrib. Also faggot-vote n.

  faggot-bearer   n.

?1518   Cocke Lorelles Bote sig. C.j   With lollers lordaynes and fagot berers.

?1518—?1518(Hide quotations)


  faggot-boat   n.

1616   F. Beaumont & J. Fletcher Scornful Ladie ii. sig. E1   If you scape with life, and take a fagot boat.

1616—1616(Hide quotations)


  faggot-flame   n.

1842   A. T. de Vere Song of Faith 243   Turkish cimeters Not fiercelier bite than Christian faggot-flame.

1842—1842(Hide quotations)


  faggot-maker   n.

1584   R. Scot Discouerie Witchcraft v. i. 91   Three witches of great wealth..assalted a faggot-maker.
1820   T. Mitchell in tr. Aristophanes Comedies I. p. l   Originally a faggot-maker, his mode of tying up bundles excited the attention of Democritus.

1584—1820(Hide quotations)


  faggot-making   n.

1826   M. R. Mitford Our Village (1863) II. 408   Its long open sheds for broom and faggot-making.

1826—1826(Hide quotations)


  faggot-pile   n.

1826   M. R. Mitford Our Village (1863) II. 257   The cart-shed..and the faggot-pile.

1826—1826(Hide quotations)


  faggot-steel   n.

1831   J. Holland Treat. Manuf. Metal I. 234   The article known among dealers by the appellation of faggot steel.

1831—1831(Hide quotations)


  faggot-stick   n.

1593   Tell-Trothes New-yeares Gift sig. B3v   Began to beelabour her..with a faggotstick.
a1774   O. Goldsmith tr. P. Scarron Comic Romance (1775) II. i. 7   The maid followed puss, with a faggot-stick in her hand.

1593—a1774(Hide quotations)


  faggot-wood   n.

1704   tr. P. Baldæus Descr. Ceylon in A. Churchill & J. Churchill Coll. Voy. III. 727/2   Boats came..to fetch Faggot-wood.

1704—1704(Hide quotations)


  faggot-brief   n. a dummy brief (cf. 7).

1859   G. A. Sala Twice round Clock (1861) 97   The briefless ones..pretend to pore over ‘faggot’ briefs.

1859—1859(Hide quotations)


  faggot-drain   n. a drain made by placing faggots at the bottom of a trench and then covering them with earth.

1819   Communic. Board Agric. 245   Many of these faggot-drains have failed.

1819—1819(Hide quotations)


  faggot filling-stitch   n. = faggot-stitch n.

1934   M. Thomas Dict. Embroidery Stitches 182   Sheaf filling stitch, also known as faggot filling stitch.
1957   M. B. Picken Fashion Dict. 121/1   Fagot filling-stitch, group of parallel stitches tied together at center to form a bundle.

1934—1957(Hide quotations)


  faggot-iron   n. iron, in the form of bars or masses, made from welding together a faggot or pile of iron bars.

1870   E. Röhrig Universal Technol. Dict. (ed. 2) II. 219/2   Fagot-iron, faggotted iron, das Paketeisen, das Schroteisen. Ferraille.

1870—1870(Hide quotations)


faggot-spray   n. Obs. the refuse twigs, etc., left in making faggots.

1669   J. Evelyn Kalendarium Hortense (ed. 3) 57   Put some rubbish of Lime-stones..Fagot-spray, or the like at the bottom of the Cases.

1669—1669(Hide quotations)


  faggot-stitch   n. needlework in which two pieces of material are joined together by stitching resembling the faggoting of drawn-thread work; so .

1903   Daily Chron. 13 June 8/4   A lace and canvas epaulette pelerine, the seams of which are separated by faggot-stitch.

1903—1903(Hide quotations)


  faggot-stitching   n.

1928   Sunday Express 3 June 8   The frills, which were not more than half an inch wide, were set in with faggot stitching.

1928—1928(Hide quotations)


faggot-waisted adj. Obs. arranged in pleats like a bundle of sticks.

1581   B. Rich Farewell Mil. Profession (1846) 218   Their dublettes some~tyme faggot wasted above the navill; sometymes cowe~beallied belowe the flanckes.

1581—1581(Hide quotations)