Balai

Donner trois tours de balai par la cheminée (French). To be a witch. Literally, to run your brush three times up the chimney. According to an ancient superstition, all witches had to pass their brooms on which they rode three times up the chimney between one Sabbath and the following.

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