A torture device once used in England. It was designed to punish women who talked too much and was sometimes called the Scolder's Bridle. It consisted of a steel cage worn on the head like a helmet. Inside the cage was a protruding steel plate that either had sharp spikes on it or which was sharpened to a point. The plate was placed in the offender's mouth so that any movement of the tongue would cause great pain and serious damage to the mouth. Sometimes a chain was attached to the front of the brank so that the victim could be led around like a dog on a leash.

Brank (?), n. [Prov. of Celtic origin; cf. L. brance, brace, the Gallic name of a particularly white kind of corn.]

Buckwheat.

[Local, Eng.]

Halliwell.

 

© Webster 1913.


Brank, Branks, n. [Cf. Gael. brangus, brangas, a sort of pillory, Ir. brancas halter, or D. pranger fetter.]

1.

A sort of bridle with wooden side pieces.

[Scot. & Prov. Eng.]

Jamieson.

2.

A scolding bridle, an instrument formerly used for correcting scolding women. It was an iron frame surrounding the head and having a triangular piece entering the mouth of the scold.

 

© Webster 1913.


Brank, v. i.

1.

To hold up and toss the head; -- applied to horses as spurning the bit.

[Scot. & Prov. Eng.]

2.

To prance; to caper.

[Scot.]

Jamieson.

 

© Webster 1913.

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