branks

brank

 (brăngk) or branks (brăngks)
n.
A device consisting of a metal frame for the head and a bit to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds.

[Possibly from Dutch branken, legs (of a compass, scissors, etc.), pl. of branke, branch, from Late Latin branca, paw; see branch.]

branks

(bræŋks)
pl n
(Antiques) (formerly) an iron bridle used to restrain scolding women
[C16: of unknown origin]

branks

(bræŋks)

n. (used with a pl. v.)
a headpiece with a flat iron bit to restrain the tongue, formerly used to punish scolds.
[1585–95; perhaps to be identified with Middle English bernak bridle, snaffle < Old French]
References in periodicals archive ?
Another form of community punishment was the branks or scold's bridle, recorded still being used in one Cheshire village during the 1850s.
On the morning of Friday, 23 March 1849, the blood-stained bodies of John Branks and his three children were discovered in their one-room rural house.
Wayne Jones, who ended Welding's run last year, maintained his hopes of another good run with a 3-0 triumph against qualifier Ian Branks.
Wayne Jones, who beat Welding in last year's quarter-finals, sustained his hopes of another good run with a 3-0 triumph against qualifier Ian Branks.
Wayne Jones sustained his hopes of another good run with a 3-0 triumph against qualifier Ian Branks.
LOS ANGELES, May 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Mellon 1st Business Bank (M1BB) announced that Paul Branks has joined the organization as senior vice president and group manager in its Downtown Los Angeles Commercial Lending Office.
Without the assistance of the magistrate, the kirk session could sentence sinners to the "jougs": iron neck collars that subjected the offender not simply to public imprisonment but physical abuse from passersby; to the branks, an iron mask that painfully depressed the tongue; to the ducking stool, which during the winter could entail considerable discomfort; to wrist manacles with which the sinner was chained to the churchyard wall; and to two weeks' imprisonment in the church steeple on bread and water.
Somewhere in my unconscious memory lies the image of the seventeenth century branks, or gossip's bridle.
William Rodriguez, of Trinidad & Tobago, will contest the WICB presidency with Guyana's Chetram Singh, while current vicepresident Val Branks, of the Leeward Islands, will face a challenge from the Windward Islands' Lennox John.
SCHOOLBOY Darren Branks almost lost an eye after being shot at point- blank range with a toy gun.
TOP SUGAR CONFECTIONERY BRANKS BY RETAIL SALES (K) All outlets (Grocery & Impulse) 52 w/e 52 w/e 1 Nov '98 31 Oct '99 % chg ([pounds ([pounds sterling]) sterling]) 1 Polo Mint 42,631k 42,790k 0.