In the days of chivalry it was customary for knights to wear a
lady's glove in their helmets, and to defend it with their life.
“One ware on his headpiece his ladies sleve, and another bare on hys
helme the glove of his dearlynge.” —Hall: Chronicle, Henry IV.
Glove A bribe. (See Glove Money.)
Hand and glove.
Sworn friends; on most intimate terms; close companions, like glove
And prate and preach about what others prove,
As if the world and they were hand and glove.
He bit his glove. He resolved on mortal revenge. On the “Border,” to
bite the glove was considered a pledge of deadly vengeance.
Stern Rutherford right little said,
But bit his glove and shook his head.
Sir Walter Scott: Lay of the Last Minstrel.
Here I throw down my glove. I challenge you. In allusion to an
ancient custom of a challenger throwing his glove or gauntlet at the
feet of the person challenged, and bidding him to pick it up. If he did
so the two fought, and the vanquisher was considered to be adjudged by
God to be in the right. To take up the glove means, therefore,
to accept the challenge.
“I will throw my glove to Death itself, that there's no maculation in
thy heart.” —Shakespeare: Troilus and Cressida, iv. 4.
To take up the glove.
To accept the challenge made by casting a glove or gauntlet on the
ground. Right as my glove.
The phrase, says Sir Walter Scott,
comes from the custom of pledging a glove as the signal of irrefragable
faith. (The Antiquary.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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