E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A jackass is so called from its obstinacy. Ily a plus dun ane qui sappelle Martin.
Martinus, qui suam acrius quam par est opinionem tuetur; cujus modi fuit Martinus juris consultus celebris sub Friderico I., a quo (inquit Baronius, A.D. 1150) in vulgare proverbium ejus durities in hanc usque diem pertransut, ut Martinum appellent, qui suæ ipsius sententue singulari pertinaci studio, in hærescat. Fuit et Martinus Grosia, legum professor in academia Bononiensi.Du Cunge (Art. Martinus)
Martin. (See ALL MY EYE.)
Martin, in Drydens allegory of the Hind and Panther, means the Lutheran party; so called by a pun on the name of Martin Luther.
Parler dautre Martin. There are more fools than one in the fair. This phrase is very common.-(See Bauduin de Seboure: Romans, ch. viii. line 855; Godefroid de Bouillon, p. 537; La branche des royaux lignage, line 11,419; Le Mystère de S. Crespin et St. Crespinien [2nd day], p. 43; Reynard the Fox, vol. ii. p. 17, line 10,096, vol. iii. p. 23, line 20,402, etc.)
Another phrase is Parler dautre Bernart, from bernarta jackass or fool.
Or vos metron el col la hart
Puis parleron dautre Bernart.
Le Roman du Renart, iii. p. 75.
Vous parlerés dautre Martin.
Ditto, p. 28.
For a hair Martin lost his ass. The French say that Martin made a bet that his ass was black; the bet was lost because a white hair was found in its coat.
Girt like Martin of Cambrayin a very ridiculous manner. Martin and Martine are the two figures that strike with their marteaux the hours on the clock of Cambray. Martin is represented as a peasant in a blouse girt very tight about the waist.
St. Martin. Patron of drunkards, to save them from falling into danger. This is a mere accident, arising thus: The 11th November (St. Martins Day) is the Vinalia or feast of Bacchus. When Bacchus was merged by Christians into St. Martin, St. Martin had to bear the ill-repute of his predecessor.
St. Martins bird. A cock, whose blood is shed sacrificially on the 11th of November, in honour of that saint.
St. Martins cloak. Martin was a military tribune before conversion, and, while stationed at Amiens in midwinter, divided his military cloak with a naked beggar, who craved alms of him before the city gates of Amiens. At night, the story says, Christ Himself appeared to the soldier, arrayed in this very garment.
St. Martins goose. The 11th of November, St. Martins Day, was at one time the great goose feast of France. The legend is that St. Martin was annoyed by a goose, which he ordered to be killed and served up for dinner. As he died from the repast, the goose has been ever since sacrificed to him on the anniversary. The goose is sometimes called by the French St. Martins bird.
St. Martins jewellery. Counterfeit gems. Upon the site of the old collegiate church of St. Martins le Grand, which was demolished upon the dissolution of the monasteries, a number of persons established themselves and carried on a considerable trade in artificial stones, beads, and jewellery. These Brummagem ornaments were called St. Martins beads, St. Martins lace, or St. Martins jewellery, as the case might be.
St. Martins lace. A sort of copper lace for which Blowbladder Street, St. Martins, was noted. (Stow.)
St. Martins rings. Imitation gold ones. (See above.)
St. Martins tree. St. Martin planted a pilgrims staff somewhere near Utopia. The staff grew into a large tree, which Gargantua pulled up to serve for a mace or club, with which he dislodged King Picrochole from Clermont Rock. (Rabelais. Gargantua and Pantagruel.)
Faire la St. Martin or Martiner. To feast; because the people used to begin St. Martins Day with feasting and drinking.