Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Tear (to rhyme with “snare”).

 Teanlay Night.Tear (to rhyme with “fear”). 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Tear (to rhyme with “snare”).
 
To tear Christ’s body. To use imprecations. The common oaths of mediæval times were by different parts of the Lord’s body, hence the preachers used to talk of “tearing God’s body by imprecations.”   1
       
“Her others been so greet and so dampnable.
That it is grisly for to hiere hëm swere.
Our blisful Lordës body thay to-tere.”
       
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales, 13,889.
 


 Teanlay Night.Tear (to rhyme with “fear”). 

 
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