Friar Tuck

Chaplain and steward of Robin Hood. Introduced by Sir Walter Scott in Ivanhoe. He is a pudgy, paunchy, humorous, self-indulgent, and combative clerical Falstaff. His costume consisted of a russet habit of the Franciscan order, a red corded girdle with gold tassel, red stockings, and a wallet. A friar was nicknamed tuck, because his dress was tucked by a girdle at the waist. Thus Chaucer says, “Tucked he was, as is a frere about.”

In this our spacious isle I think there is not one
But he hath heard some talk of Hood and Little John;
Of Tuck, the merry friar, which many a sermon made
In praise of Robin Hood, his outlaws, and their trade.

Drayton: Polyolbion, s.26.

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