One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A metal container of oil, grease, wood, or coal set alight for illumination and typically mounted on a pole.
firebrand, brandView synonyms
- ‘In addition to these fires, the streets were lined with lanterns, and people carried cressets (pivoted lanterns atop poles) as they wandered from one bonfire to another.’
- ‘He arose and went to her as I lit the cresset from the brazier coals.’
- ‘Fire baskets or cressets mounted at the prows of the fishing barges seem to attract prey for the cormorants.’
Late Middle English: from Old French, from craisse, variant of graisse ‘oil, grease’.
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