are not worn in the presence of royalty, because we are to
stand unarmed, with the helmet off the head and gauntlets off the
hands, to show we have no hostile intention. (See Salutations.)
used to be worn by the clergy to indicate that their hands are
clean and not open to bribes. They are no longer officially worn by the
Gloves given to a judge in a maiden assize.
In an assize without a criminal, the sheriff presents the judge
with a pair of white gloves. Chambers says, anciently judges were not
allowed to wear gloves on the bench (Cyclopædia
). To give a
judge a pair of gloves, therefore, symbolised that he need not come to
the bench, but might wear gloves.
You owe me a pair of gloves.
A small present. The gift of a pair of gloves was at one time a
perquisite of those who performed small services, such as pleading your
cause, arbitrating your quarrel, or showing you some favour which could
not be charged for. As the services became more important, the glove
was lined with money, or made to contain some coin called glove money (q.v.
). Relics of this ancient custom were common till the last
quarter of a century in the presentation of gloves to those who
attended weddings and funerals. There also existed at one time the
claim of a pair of gloves by a lady who chose to salute a gentleman
caught napping in her company. In The Fair Maid of Perth,
Walter Scott, Catherine steals from her chamber on St. Valentine's
morn, and, catching Henry Smith asleep, gives him a kiss. The glover
says to him:
“Come into the booth with me, my son, and I will furnish thee with a
fitting theme. Thou knowest the maiden who ventures to kiss a sleeping
man wins of him a pair of gloves.” -
In the next chapter Henry presents the gloves, and Catherine accepts
A round with gloves.
A friendly contest; a fight with gloves.
“Will you point out how this is going to be a genteel round with
gloves?” —Watson: The Web of the Spider, chap. ix.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894