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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BANE, n.2 A bean. Used in the phrases “King of Bane,” “Queen of Bane,” a character in Christmas gambols. Arch.Sc. 1877 Jam.4:
Bane, King of Bane. . . . This designation is given to the person who is so fortunate as to receive that part of a divided cake which has a bean in it.

[Sir James G. Frazer, in his Golden Bough (Abr. ed. 1929), p. 586, inclines to believe that the “burlesque figure personifying the festive season . . . is no other than a direct successor of the old King of the Saturnalia. . . . The King of the Bean on Twelfth Night and the mediæval Bishop of Fools, Abbot of Unreason, or Lord of Misrule are figures of the same sort and may perhaps have had a similar origin.” O.Sc. bane, bain, also bene, bein, a bean (O.E. bēan); the first two forms are less common.]

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"Bane n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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