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Bressommer

or Brest-summer. (French, sommier, a lintel or bressummer.) A beam supporting the whole weight of the building above it; as, the beam over a shop-front, the beam extending over an opening through a wall when a communication between two contiguous rooms is required. Sometimes these beams support a large superstructure. (The word bress, brest, or breast, in carpentry, means a rafter, and the German brett = a plank.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Bressommer from Infoplease:

  • Bressommer - Bressommer or Brest-summer. (French, sommier, a lintel or bressummer.) A beam supporting the whole ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: B - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "B"

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