See also: Beadle
From Middle English bedel, bidel, from Old English bydel (“warrant officer, apparitor”), from Proto-Germanic *budilaz (“herald”), equivalent to bid + -le. Cognate with Dutch beul, German Büttel. More at bid.
beadle (plural beadles)
- a parish constable, a uniformed minor (lay) official, who ushers and keeps order
- (Scotland, ecclesiastic) an attendant to the minister
- a warrant officer
- 1789, William Blake, "Holy Thursday"
- Twas on a holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,
- The children walking two and two in red and blue and green:
- Grey-headed beadles walked before, with wands as white as snow,
- Till into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames waters flow.
- 1853, Charles Dickens, Bleak House, ch 11:
- The beadle ... generally understood in the neighbourhood to be a ridiculous institution ... The policeman considers him an imbecile civilian, a remnant of the barbarous watchmen times, but gives him admission as something that must be borne with until government shall abolish him.
- 1929, Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own, Penguin Books, paperback edition, page 8
- His face expressed horror and indignation. Instinct rather than reason came to my help; he was a Beadle; I was a woman.
a parish constable
a warrant officer
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
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