E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.


Supposed to be an antidote against lightning, because it was the tree of Apollo. Hence Tibe’rius and some other of the Roman emperors wore a wreath of bay as an amulet, especially in thunder-storms. (Pliny.) 1

“Reach the bays—

I’ll tie a garland here about his head;
’Twill keep my boy from lightning.”

The White Devil.

The withering of a bay-tree was supposed to be the omen of a death. 2
“’Tis thought the king is dead. We’ll not stay—
The bay-trees in our country are withered.”

Shakespeare: Richard II., ii. 4.

Crowned with bays, in sign of victory. The general who obtained a victory among the Romans was crowned with a wreath of bay leaves.

3. Bay. The reason why Apollo and all those under his protection are crowned with bay is a pretty fable. Daphn , daughter of the river-god Penos, in Thessaly, was very beautiful and resolved to pass her life in perpetual virginity. Apollo fell in love with her, but she rejected his suit. On one occasion the god was so importunate that Daphn fled from him and sought the protection of her father, who changed her into the bay-tree. The gallant god declared henceforth he would wear bay leaves on his brow and lyre instead of the oak, and that all who sought his favour should follow his example.

4.The Queen’s Bays. The 2nd Dragoon Guards; so called because they are mounted on bay horses. Now called The Queen’s.

5. Bay. The colour of a horse is Varro’s equus badius, given by Ainsworth as, “brown, bay, sorrel, chestnut colour.” Coles gives the same. Our bayard; bright bay, light bay, blood bay, etc.

Author: S.M.Muse

Bestselling author S.M Muse writes, fun, action-packed adventures full of everyday magic, and darker than Mid-night foes. His characters are clever, fearless, and resilient, but in real life, S.M. is afraid of spiders, things that go bump in the night, and roughing it in the great outdoors. Let’s face it. S.M. wouldn’t last ten minutes in one of his books. S.M Muse is best known for his Heir of Nostalgia fantasy series, and soon to be Urban Contemporary thriller, The Summer People. Visit him at http://www.heirofnostalgia@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: