Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a punishment device, especially for scolding women, consisting of a cage to enclose the head, with a metal gag for the mouth

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An instrument formerly used in parts of England and Scotland for correcting scolding women; a scolding-bridle.
  • A sort of bridle for horses and cows.
  • The mumps.

Etymologies

Origin uncertain; perhaps related to German Pranger, Dutch prang. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word branchs, (pronounced "branks") in prosobranchs, means 'gill'.

    Mollusca

  • So, if I happen to say that branks monkey sagas have spilled onto the pavement alligators aware, just, you know, back away very slowly.

    January 23rd, 2006

  • It was harnessed in the most simple manner, with a pair of branks, a hair tether, or halter, and a sunk, or cushion of straw, instead of bridle and saddle.

    Old Mortality

  • Adultery carried a death sentence, while lesser crimes could be punished by the likes of the branks.

    Fleshmarket Close

  • “Head cages” are far rarer and also more extreme: There are steel varieties that consist of strips welded together to form a cage in the shape of the head these metal cages are also known as “branks”.

    Come Hither

  • As cheeks o 'branks. [sides of an ox's bridle]' Guid-een, 'quo' I; 'Friend! hae ye been mawin, [Good-evening, mowing]

    Robert Burns How To Know Him

  • There are some excellent drawings of branks, and full descriptions of their use, in Mr. Andrews's _Bygone Punishments_.

    Vanishing England

  • You may still see some fearsome branks in museums.

    Vanishing England

  • But we can still see our stocks on the village greens, our branks, ducking-stools, and pillories in museums, and remind ourselves of the customs of former days which have not so very long ago passed away.

    Vanishing England

  • They'll need to stand on a baikie that put the branks on him.

    The House with the Green Shutters

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