Bicorne

Also known as Bulchin

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  • #0441
  • Medieval Medieval (culture)
  • Domestic Domestic (attribute)
  • Rural Rural (attribute)
  • Deadly Deadly (behaviour)

A medieval beast with the body of a fat and bloated panther with the face of a human and a menacing grin. Most peculiarly it would only eat chauvinistic husbands who abused their wives such people were called 'hen-pecked' husbands.

Its counterpart is called Chichelvache which had a glum face and would feed only on wives who were loyal to their husbands but constantly harassed and abused them. Both were depicted on furniture together especially on the misericords.

During the 16th century it was known as the Bulchin which was pronounced 'bulkin'. At this time it looked more like a diminutive bull. The creature was used to describe such hen-pecked' husbands as well as small cows. Below are fragments from old dramas:

"Yet I doubt hee'le proove but a victular to the camp, a notable fat double-chind bulchin"
Whiore of Babylon by Decker 1607

"I was at supper last night with a new-wean'd bulchin"
Marston's Dutch Courtes

"And better yet than this a bulchin two years old
A curl'd pate calf it is, and oft' might have been sold"
Drayt. Polyolb

The word Bicorne implies the creatures had two horns. Today the word is used to describe a type of bird that has a horn on top of its beak and a Napoleonic hat.

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