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Bauble

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Bauble

A bauble is a spherical Christmas ornament, usually hung on a Christmas tree.

It may be a blend of two different words, an Old French baubel, a child's plaything, and an old English babyll, something swinging to and fro. It was applied to a stick with a weight attached, used in weighing, to a child's toy, and especially to the mock symbol of office carried by a court jester, a baton terminating in a figure of Folly with cap and bells, and sometimes having a bladder fastened to the other end. Hence it became a term for any triviality or childish folly.

Although its meaning is restricted in modern English, the word was once used by both British and American writers to mean either a small object extravagantly decorated (such as Dickens's "rich bauble of a casket"), a previously valuable object that has lost its worth (such as the suicidal King Aegeus's crown and scepter in Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales), or even an abstraction such as immortality.

References

Bauble Wikipedia


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