gallows


gallows
, gibbets
   A number of beliefs and customs clustered around the gallows, the hangman's rope, and even the body of the executed person. The wood of the gallows itself was prized for its curative properties, as it was believed effective against the ague and *toothache. The earliest references show that for the ague, a piece was worn or carried as an amulet, as noted by Sir Thomas Browne in his Pseudodoxia Epidemica ((1650; 6th edn. 1672), book 5, chapter 23) 'when for amulets against agues we use the chips of gallows and places of execution'. From the 19th century on, the emphasis is on splinters of the wood being placed in the mouth to cure the toothache. Attention also focused on the rope used in the hanging. Reginald Scot (1584: book 12, chapter 14) reports 'A charme for the headach: Tie a halter about your head, wherewith one hath beene hanged', and a century later John Aubrey (1686/1880: 198) confirms its practice, commenting that the hangman makes a profit by selling pieces of the rope. This belief had been held in classical times, and continued to be reported in England well into the 20th century. In addition to being good for headaches, the rope was held to be generally lucky, especially by *card-players. The body of the hanged person was also valuable, the touch of the corpse's hand was used to cure swellings (see *dead man's hand) and the *hand of glory was much prized by burglars. *Mandrakes were believed to grow especially beneath the gallows ' . . . arising from fat or urine that drops from the body of the dead' (Browne, 1672: book 2 chapter 6).
   See also *Hangman's Stone; *skin, human.
   ■ Opie and Tatem, 1989: 172, 189.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • Gallows — Gal lows, n. sing.; pl. {Gallowses}or {Gallows}. [OE. galwes, pl., AS. galga, gealga, gallows, cross; akin to D. galg gallows, OS. & OHG. galgo, G. galgen, Icel. g[=a]lgi, Sw. & Dan. galge, Goth. galga a cross. Etymologically and historically… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gallows — Gal lows, n. sing.; pl. {Gallowses}or {Gallows}. [OE. galwes, pl., AS. galga, gealga, gallows, cross; akin to D. galg gallows, OS. & OHG. galgo, G. galgen, Icel. g[=a]lgi, Sw. & Dan. galge, Goth. galga a cross. Etymologically and historically… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gallows — Gal lows, n. sing.; pl. {Gallowses}or {Gallows}. [OE. galwes, pl., AS. galga, gealga, gallows, cross; akin to D. galg gallows, OS. & OHG. galgo, G. galgen, Icel. g[=a]lgi, Sw. & Dan. galge, Goth. galga a cross. Etymologically and historically… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gallows — en juin 2007 Pays d’origine Watford …   Wikipédia en Français

  • gallows — c.1300, plural of Middle English galwe gallows (mid 13c.), from O.N. galgi gallows, or from O.E. galga (Mercian), gealga (W. Saxon) gallows; all from P.Gmc. *galgon pole (Cf. O.Fris. galga, M.H.G. galge gallows, cross, Ger. Galgen gallows, Goth …   Etymology dictionary

  • gallows — [gal′ōz] n. pl. gallows or gallowses [ME galwes, pl. of galwe < OE galga, akin to Ger galgen < IE base * ĝhalgh , pliant tree branch > Lith žalgà, long, thin pole: the earliest gallows was a pulled down branch that carried the victim… …   English World dictionary

  • Gallows — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Hardcore Punk Gründung 2005 Website http://www.gallows.co.uk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • gallows — has been treated since the 16c as a singular noun, with a (rarely used) plural gallowses. Gallows humour means ‘grim and ironical humour’ …   Modern English usage

  • gallows — ► PLURAL NOUN (usu. treated as sing. ) 1) a structure consisting of two uprights and a crosspiece, used for hanging a person. 2) (the gallows) execution by hanging. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • Gallows — Эта страница требует существенной переработки. Возможно, её необходимо викифицировать, дополнить или переписать. Пояснение причин и обсуждение на странице Википедия:К улучшению/21 декабря 2012. Дата постановки к улучшению 21 декабря 2012. Gallows …   Википедия

  • Gallows — A gallows is a frame, typically wooden, used for execution by hanging.A gallows can take several forms. The simplest form (as often used in the game Hangman ) resembles an inverted L , with a single upright and a horizontal beam to which the rope …   Wikipedia