Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Bawbee.

 Ba’vius.Bawley Boat (A). 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Bawbee.
 
       
“Wha’ll hire, wha’ll hir, wha’ll hire me?
Three plumps and a wallop for ae bawbee.”
The tale is that the people of Kirkmahoe were so poor, they could not afford to put any meat into their broth. A ’cute cobbler invested all his money in buying four sheep-shanks, and when a neighbour wanted to make mutton broth, for the payment of one halfpenny the cobbler would “plump” one of the sheep-shanks into the boiling water, and give it a “wallop” or whisk round. He then wrapped it in a cabbage-leaf and took it home. This was called a gustin bone, and was supposed to give a rich “gust” to the broth. The cobbler found his gustin bone very profitable.   1
   Jenny’s bawbee. Her marriage portion. The word means, properly, a debased copper coin, equal in value to a half-penny, issued in the reign of James V. of Scotland. (French, bas billon, debased copper money.)   2
   The word “bawbee” is derived from the laird of Sillebawby, a mintmaster. That there was such a laird is quite certain from the Treasurer’s account, September 7th, 1541, “In argento receptis a Jacobo Atzinsone, et Alexandro Orok de Sillebawby respective.   3
 


 Ba’vius.Bawley Boat (A). 

 
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