in Cambridge University slang, is a man who has not yet matriculated. The play is evident. A “man,” in college phrase, is a collegian; and, as matriculation is the sign and seal of acceptance, a scholar before that ceremony is not a “man,” and therefore only a “biped brute.”
(Sir John). A coarse, pot-valiant knight, ignobly noted for his absurdities. (Vanbrugh: The Provoked Wife.)
or Brutus, in the mythological history of England, the first king of the Britons, was son of Sylvius (grandson of Ascanius and great grandson of Æneas). Having inadvertently killed his father, he first took refuge in Greece and then in Britain. In remembrance of Troy, he called the capital of his kingdom Troy-novant (New Troy), now London.
The pedigree was as follows:- (1) Æneas, (2) Ascanius, (3) Silvius, (4) Brutus. (See Troy-Novant.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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