Online Encyclopedia

FLAIL (from Lat. flagellum, a whip or...

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Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 468 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FLAIL (from Lat. flagellum, a whip or scourge, but used in the Vulgate in the sense of " flail "; the word appears in Dutch vegel, Ger. Flegel, and Fr. Pau), a farm hand-implement formerly used for threshing corn. It consists of a short thick club called a " Swingle " or " swipple " attached by a rope or leather thong to a wooden handle in such a manner as to enable it to swing freely. The " flail " was a weapon used for military purposes in the middle ages. It was made in the same way as a threshing-flail but much stronger and furnished with iron spikes. It also took the form of a chain with a spiked iron ball at one end swinging free on a wooden or iron handle. This weapon was known as the " morning star " or holy water sprinkler." During the panic over the Popish plot in England from 1678 to 1681, clubs, known as " Protestant flails," were carried by alarmed Protestants (see GREEN RIBBON CLUB).
End of Article: FLAIL (from Lat. flagellum, a whip or scourge, but used in the Vulgate in the sense of " flail "; the word appears in Dutch vegel, Ger. Flegel, and Fr. Pau)
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