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Wapentake

A division of Yorkshire, similar to that better known as a hundred. The word means “toucharms,” it being the custom of each vassal, when he attended the assemblies of the district, “to touch the spear of his overlord in token of homage.” Victor Hugo, in his novel of L'Homme qui Rit, calls a tipstaff a “wapentake.”

(Anglo-Saxon, wapen, arms; tacan, to touch.)

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