Broom

(Sarothamnus scoparius) The original broom, whether for domestic or magical (witch) uses, was a stalk of the broom plant with a tuft of leaves at the end, made by "broom-dashers" (Sargent). The specific name scoparius is from Latin scopae, a broom or besom. Broomstick marriages were once fairly common, and jumping over the broomstick was said to be part of the gypsy marriage ceremony (Vesey-Fitzgerald). But "jumping the broomstick" is a Scottish expression for an irregular marriage (Cheviot), and in Somerset it was said you should never step over a broom if you are unmarried, for if you do you will bear a bastard child (Tobgue. 1965). Note the folk song known as Green Besoms:

One day as I was trudging Down by my native cot, I saw a jolly farmer, O happy is his lot. He ploughs his furrows deep, The seeds he layeth low, And there it bides asleep Until the green broom blow. O come and buy my besoms, Bonny green besoms, Besoms fine and new,

Broom

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