Bejutapaut - Bezoar water

Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.

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From the Hindi 'be-juta' meaning 'without join', and 'pat', meaning 'a piece', bejutapauts were included by Milburn among INDIAN - PIECE GOODS formerly imported from Bombay and Surat [Yule and Burnell (1886, pb 1996)]. Their importation was seen as a threat to British manufacture and they were therefore banned for home use, though import and re-export to Africa continued. They were listed among the 'India goods for Africa' in the 1760s [Acts (1766)]. Like many imports from India, bejutapaut seems to have been a name unacceptable to the buying public, so that if and when it was offered for sale in the shops during the seventeenth century, it must have been under the name of CALICO.

OED earliest date of use: 1725

Sources: Acts, Rates.
References: Yule and Burnell (1886, pb 1996).

Belly band

[bellybond; belly bond; bally band]

An item of HARNESS for use with a CART or other shafted HORSE drawn vehicle. It is the band passing below the belly of a horse, being attached to the shafts on each side and designed to act as a counter balance to the BACK BAND in preventing up and down movement in the shafts.

OED earliest date of use: 1523

Found described by CART, for CHAINs

Sources: Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).


The term is found only once in the Dictionary Archive in the 1582 Book of Rates [Rates (1582)]. That particular source contains many obscure and unidentified terms and moreover, it presents the entries largely in alphabetical order, thereby removing any helpful context (groupings of types of goods). It seems probable that bemovium belonged among the DRUGS, but it does not appear in the later books and there are no clues to its nature or use.

Found rated by the POUND

Sources: Rates.

Bench loom

According to a patent dated 1797 it was an alternative name for the DRAW LOOM [Patents (1797)].

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Patents.

Bench screw

A devise fixed to a joiners BENCH and 'set on its higher side, to screw Boards to the Bench side, while their edges are plaining or shooting, that they shake or tremble not, but remain steady while they are in working' [Holme (2000)]. It thus served much the same purpose as a VICE.

OED earliest date of use: 1823 under Bench

Sources: Inventories (late).
References: Holme (2000).


It was part of an OX HIDE or COW HIDE consisting of half a BUTT cut longitudinally along the back, a practice common in the north of England. Bends were mainly TANNED to make BEND LEATHER.

The term occurs in two other meanings in the Dictionary Archive. The first was a nautical term, usually in the plural, applied to the crooked TIMBER used to form the ribs of a ship. Bends were included among a list of ship woodwork that would respond to a newly invented VARNISH [Patents (1782)]. The second is as a descriptor for various articles subsumed into BEND WARE, the most common being a bend PAIL.

OED earliest date of use: 1600 as a piece of HIDE; 1626 as TIMBER; not found as a descriptor of BEND WARE

Found describing GAWN, KIT, PAIL

Sources: Diaries, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).

Bend leather

[bendleather; bend of leth'r; bend of lether]

A BEND was a large piece of LEATHER consisting of half a BUTT. In Scotland and northern England, butts were commonly cut longitudinally down the back into two equal BENDs before being TANNED. Bend leather was therefore the thickest LEATHER from the back and flanks. It was used for the soles of BOOTs and SHOEs, hence entries like 'Bend leather for Soales' [Inventories (1636)], and 'half bend wantinge a p' of soals ijs' [Inventories (1623)].

OED earliest date of use: 1600

Found describing HIDE Found described as for SOLE, UNWROUGHT
Found in units of BEND, LB, PIECE

Sources: Diaries, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).



The name apparently derives from Bergamo, the Italian town, and was applied to at least three different plants. Firstly it was a tree closely related to the ORANGE and the LEMON, Citrus bergamia, from the rind of the fruit of which a fragrant OIL was prepared and called ESSENCE OF BERGAMOT. This was used to scent products such as WASH BALLs as well as BERGAMOT POWDER, BERGAMOT POMATUM, BERGAMOT SNUFF, BERGAMOT WATER and ESSENCE OF BERGAMOT. The fruit itself was also used, for example, in CREME DE BERGAMOTE.

The bergamot was also a variety of PEAR, the fruit of which was highly esteemed for making PERRY. The OED gives the earliest use in this sense as 1616, well before the citrus fruit. Bergamot as applied to the HERB Mentha citrata, date to the nineteenth century. This member of the mint family gives an oil with a similar fragrance to ESSENCE OF BERGAMOT.

OED earliest date of use: 1696

Found describing FRUIT

Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.

Bergamot pomatum

[bergamot ditto]

A POMATUM for the hair scented with BERGAMOT, probably intended for use with a HAIR POWDER similarly scented.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Tradecards.

Bergamot snuff

[burgamet snuff]

A SNUFF scented with BERGAMOT, usually abbreviated to 'Bergamot' as in the earliest quotation given in the OED, 'A wig that's full, An empty skull, A box of burgamot'.

OED online earliest date of use: 1706

Sources: Tradecards.

Bergamot water

[bergamot ditto]

The term is sometimes abbreviated to 'Bergamot(t)e'. Neither Gerard nor Culpeper included bergamot water in their Herbals because it was used in TOILETRY rather than in medicine. It was distilled from BERGAMOT.

Not found in the OED online

Found included among PERFUMED WATERS

Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.



The term probably comes from the Spanish and Portuguese term 'beatilla' or 'beatilha', meaning a veil, from the 'beatas' or religieuses, who invented or used them. It is a kind of fine MUSLIN, constantly mentioned in old trading-lists and narratives, and apparently much used to make CRAVATs [Montgomery (1984)]. According to Milburn, beteelas, which he included in his list of INDIAN - PIECE GOODS, were imported from Bombay and Surat in India [Yule and Burnell (1886, pb 1996)]. The earliest date given by Yule and Burnell is 1566. They do not appear under this name in the shops in the Dictionary Archive; no doubt the generic MUSLIN was used instead as a more familiar term to the customer.

OED earliest date of use: 1598

Found described as PLAIN

Sources: Acts.
References: Montgomery (1984), Yule and Burnell (1886, pb 1996).

Betony water

Probably a DISTILLED water of the leaves of the water betony (Betonica aquatica) used according to Nicholas Culpeper for 'bruises and hurts, whether outward or inward', though he confessed that he did 'not much fancy distilled waters ... such as are distilled cold' [Culpeper (1792)].

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Inventories (early).
References: Culpeper (1792).

Bettisons royal true blue

[bettison's royal true blue]

It was a proprietary brand of blue for use as a DYESTUFF and in laundry work. It was thus comparable with INDIAN LIQUID TRUE BLUE and QUEENS BLUE, and most likely in the form of a liquid. It has been noted only once in the Dictionary Archive among his long piece of puffery in which he claimed that it could be used for SILK STOCKINGS, silk RIBBON and dyeing FEATHERS [Tradecards (1794)].

Not found in the OED

Sources: Tradecards.

Bezoar water

The English name of AQUA BEZOAR, and possibly a form of PLAGUE WATER. The recipe given in Martha Bradley's British Housewife has a long list of ingredients typical of many supposed specifics for plague and serious pestilence, but no BEZOAR. It seems likely, therefore, that the label was intended to indicate a general antidote to poison and disease rather than to indicate an ingredient [Bradley (1756 facs.1996-8)].

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Inventories (mid-period).
References: Bradley (1756, facs. 1996-8).