One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A cap, a hood, especially a nightcap (now historical and rare).
More fully "coffee biggin". A type of coffee pot containing a strainer, through which coffee infuses without mixing with the water.
Early 16th century (in an earlier sense). From Middle French beguin (French béguin) child's cap or coif, type of headgear, originally with allusion to the distinctive type of coif fastened beneath the chin worn by the Beguines, transferred use of beguin, masculine form corresponding to beguine<br>late 18th century; earliest use found in The Caledonian Mercury. Apparently from the name of George Biggin (d. 1803), its inventor.
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