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Bernard Hemingway


Posted Tue Jun 1st, 2010 2:58pm Post subject: Barratry

Hi, Bernard from Downunderhere. I was watching QI Series 8 No 3 tonight and one of the segments concerned a scold's bridle. Stephen defined a scold as a nagging, scolding woman and stated that the male equivalent was a barrator, or a male who indulged in barratry. I have always understood barratry to be a form of fraud. indeed on checking the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology it defines barratry as "purchase of preferment or office; fraud or criminal negligence by a ship's master". Has anyone any idea where Stephen got his definition from, assuming that it is correct.

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