Knights of the Bath. This name is derived from the ceremony of bathing, which used to be practised at the inauguration of a knight, as a symbol of purity. The last knights created in this ancient form were at the coronation of Charles II. in 1661. G.C.B. stands for Grand Cross of the Bath (the first-class); K.C.B. Knight Commander of the Bath (the second class); C.B. Companion of the Bath (the third class).
Alluvial matter made in the form of a brick, and used for cleaning knives and polishing metals. It is not made at Bath, but at Bridgwater, being dredged from the river Parrett, which runs through Bridgwater.
(A). A chair mounted on wheels and used for invalids. Much used at Bath, frequented by invalids for its hot springs.
The same as Pinchbeck (q.v.). An alloy consisting of sixteen parts copper and five of zinc.
A letter paper with a highly-glazed surface, used by the highly-fashionable visitors of Bath when that watering-place was at its prime. (See Post. ) Since the introduction of the penny post and envelope system, this paper has gone out of general use.
Silver tokens coined at Bath in 1811-1812, and issued for 4s., for 2s., and for 1s., by C. Culverhouse, J. Orchard, and J. Phipps.
A species of limestone, used for building, and found in the Lower Oolite, in Wiltshire and Somersetshire. It is easily wrought in the quarry, but hardens on exposure to the air. Called “Bath” stone because several of the quarries are near Bath, in Somersetshire.
(Major). A poor, high-minded officer, who tries to conceal his poverty by bold speech and ostentatious bearing. Colman's Poor Gentleman (Lieutenant Worthington) is a similar character. (Fielding: Amelia (a novel) 1751.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894