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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