(to rhyme with “snare”). To tear Christ's body. To use imprecations. The common oaths of mediaeval times were by different parts of the Lord's body, hence the preachers used to talk of “tearing God's body by imprecations.”
Her othes been so greet and so dammpnable That it is grisly for to hiere hëm swere. Our blisful Lordës body thay to-tere.
(to rhyme with “fear”). Tear and larme. (Anglo—Saxon, taeher; Gothic, tagr; Greek, dakru; Latin, lacrim-a; French, lar'm.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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