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See also: Beadle


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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English bedel, bidel, from Old English bydel (warrant officer, apparitor), from Proto-Germanic *budilaz (herald), from Proto-Germanic *beudaną (to present, offer), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰewdʰ- (to comprehend, make aware). Akin to Swedish bödel, Finnish pyöveli, and Old High German butil (beadle), (whence German Büttel), Old English bēodan (to announce). More at bid.



beadle (plural beadles)

  1. a parish constable, a uniformed minor (lay) official, who ushers and keeps order
  2. (Scotland, ecclesiastic) an attendant to the minister
  3. a warrant officer


Twas on a holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,
The children walking two and two in red and blue and green:
Grey-headed beadles walked before, with wands as white as snow,
Till into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames waters flow. - William Blake, "Holy Thursday" (1789)
  • 1929, Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own, Penguin Books, paperback edition, page 8
    His face expressed horror and indignation. Instinct rather than reason came to my help; he was a Beadle; I was a woman.

Derived terms[edit]


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