A badge worn in mediæval times by those who had recanted their
“heretical” opinions. It was designed to show what they merited, but
had narrowly escaped. (See Fagots.)
Il y a fagots et fagots.
There are divers sorts of fagots; every
alike is not the same. The expression is in Molièe's Le Médecin
where Sganarelle wants to show that his fagots are
better than those of other persons; “Ay, but those fagots are not so
good as my fagots.” (Welsh, ffag,
that which unites;
Sentire les fagots.
To be heretical; to smack of the fagots. In allusion to the custom
of burning heretics by surrounding them with blazing fagots.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894