A growing assortment of words and definitions used in the Early Modern era. See the Guide for more information.
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Joyous; forward; gay. Old French baud, gay; Old Low German bald, bold, lively. The adjective was used in THE ROMANCE OF THE ROSE (1400) ; the noun baudery (q.v.), jollity, was more frequent. There is also a verb bawdefy, to bedeck, to make gay. Somehow, in the transfer from French to English, bawd -- perhaps compounded with bawd, earlier bad, a cat, a pussy, a rabbit, used in slang senses -- came to be applied to a pander. Shakespeare in ROMEO AND JULIET (1592) cries A baud, a baud! meaning a hare; but in AS YOU LIKE IT (1600) he has Touchstone tell Audrey We must be married, or we must live in baudrey. The earliest form of bawd in the sense of pander (male or female) is bawdstrot; this became bawstrop and, especially in the plays of Thomas Middleton, bronstrops, as in A FAIR QUARREL (1617) : I say thy sister is a bronstrops.


An outrageous spendthrift. Used first by 17th century playwrights; Thomas Middleton, in A TRICK TO CATCH THE OLD ONE (1608): Hee's a rioter, a wastthrift, a brothellmaister. In 1868 H. Brandreth wrote a book entitled Wastethrifts and Workmen. Of the mode of producing them, and their relative value to the community.
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