crants

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Compare Dutch krans, German Kranz.

Noun[edit]

crants ‎(plural crantses)

  1. (obsolete) A garland carried before the bier of a maiden and subsequently hung over the grave.
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act V, Scene 1, 1829, George Steevens (editor), The Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare, Volume 2, page 443,
      Yet here she is allowed her virgin crants, / Her maiden strewments, and the bringing home / Of bell and burial.
    • 1888, The Academy, Volume 34, page 134,
      Dr. Furnivall has lately seen in the aisle of Ashford Church, near Bakewell, in Derbyshire, five of the "virgin crantses," or "maidens' garlands," which the priests allowed Ophelia's corpse — with other rites — by "great command."
    • 1888 August 29, unknown author, quoted in 1983, William Benzie, Dr. F. J. Furnivall: Victorian scholar adventurer, page 181,
      In the Derby Mercury for August 29, 1888, a correspondent writes, "Henceforth, Ashford Church with its paper garlands or crantses should be visited by all Shakespeare students far and near."
    • 1966, Roy Christian, The Country Life Book of Old English Customs, page 56,
      In the parish church at Matlock six exceptionally well-preserved garlands, known locally as crantses, hang in a glass-fronted cupboard in the south-west porch.