batlet

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

bat +‎ -let. Probably a spurious word. Both this and batler are only known from the same Shakespeare locus; neither is it known that battler means a fuller’s beetle but him who beetles or “posses” the clothes. However for the meaning of a flat cuboid on a handle to clean textiles by muscles battril, which could be a metathesis of batler, is known to have been used in the Lancashire dialect, such as by Tim Bobbin on multiple occasions.

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Noun[edit]

batlet (plural batlets)

  1. A short bat for beating clothes when washing them.
    • 1600, Shakespeare, William, As You Like it, act ii, scene iv:
      Touchstone: I remember, when I was in love I broke my sword upon a stone and bid him take that for coming a-night to Jane Smile; and I remember the kissing of her batlet (var. batler) and the cow's dugs that her pretty chopt hands had milked;
    • 1992, Christina Hardyment, Home Comfort: A History of Domestic Arrangements ; in Association with the National Trust
      These 'batlets', which had of necessity to be made from well-seasoned wood, were evidently prized household items, often intricately carved on the upper surface.
    • 2012, Jude Deveraux, A Knight in Shining Armor, Simon and Schuster (→ISBN), page 258:
      "If you come between me and my actions again, I will take a batlet to you." He shoved past her so hard that Dougless nearly fell against the wall, and she watched with a heavy heart as he strode angrily down the path and out through the door ...

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