Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Bauble.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A fool should never hold a bauble in his hand. “’Tis a foolish bird that fouls its own nest.” The bauble was a short stick, ornamented with ass’s ears, carried by licensed fools. (French, babiole, a plaything; Old French, baubel, a child’s toy.)   1
   If every fool held a bauble, fuel would be dear. The proverb indicates that the world contains so many fools that if each had a separate bauble there would be but little wood left for lighting fires.   2
   To deserve the bauble. To be so foolish as to be qualified to carry a fool’s emblem of office.   3



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