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Battledore

(3 syl.) means, properly, a baton for washing linen by striking on it to knock out the dirt. The plan is still common in France. The word is the French battoir, a beater used by washerwomen; Portuguese, Batidor, Spanish, batidero, a wash-board.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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