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Faggot (unit)

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A faggot, in the meaning of "bundle", is an archaic English unit applied to bundles of certain items. Alternate spellings in Early Modern English include fagate, faget, fagett, faggott, fagot, fagatt, fagott, ffagott, and faggat.[1]

Woman Carrying a Faggot, Mihály Munkácsy

Sometimes called a short faggot, a faggot of sticks equals a bundle of wood sticks or billets that is 3 feet (0.91 m) in length and 2 feet (0.61 m) in circumference.[1] The measurement was standardised in ordinances by 1474.[1] A small short faggot was also called a nicket.[2] A brush-faggot (sometimes shortened to brush) was a bundle of similar size made of brushwood.[3]

A long faggot of sticks equals a bundle larger than 3 feet (0.91 m) long. In a book on slang used at Winchester College fire-dogs were fire baskets (andirons) that could hold long faggots, and half-faggots were smaller andirons that could only hold short faggots and were later converted for use with coal.[4]

A long faggot was also called a kidd faggot,[5] kid, kide, or kidde being Middle English for firewood in bundles.[6]

A fascine (or bavin[3]) is a type of long faggot which is approximately 13 to 20 feet (4.0 to 6.1 m) long and 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) in diameter and used to maintain earthworks such as trenches.[7][8][9]

A faggot was also a unit of weight used to measure iron or steel rods or bars totaling 120 pounds (54 kg).[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Zupko, Ronald Edward (1985). A Dictionary of Weights and Measures for the British Isles: The Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century, Volume 168. American Philosophical Society, ISBN 9780871691682
  2. ^ Halliwell, John Orchard (reprint 2006). A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words: Obsolete Phrases, Proverbs and Ancient Customs from the Fourteenth Century J-Z, Volume 2. Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 9781428627642
  3. ^ a b Wright, Joseph (1898). The English Dialect Dictionary, Being the Complete Vocabulary of All Dialect Words Still in Use, Or Known to Have Been in Use During the Last Two Hundred Years: A-E. H. Frowde
  4. ^ Stevens, Charles; Stray, Christopher (1998). Winchester notions: the English dialect of Winchester College. Athlone Press, ISBN 9780485121384
  5. ^ Yaxley, David (2003). A Researcher's Glossary of Words Found in Historical Documents of East Anglia. Larks Press, ISBN 9781904006138
  6. ^ Middle English Dictionary Entry access date 2015-04-01
  7. ^ The New Quarterly Review and Digest of Current Literature, British, American, French, and German. For the Year 1855. London: Thomas Bosworth
  8. ^ Editorial staff (1871). The English Mechanic and World of Science, Volume 12, page 168.
  9. ^ Nolan, Cathal J. (2008). Wars of the Age of Louis XIV, 1650-1715: An Encyclopedia of Global Warfare and Civilization. ABC-CLIO, ISBN 9780313359200