Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition


(a word common, in various early forms, to many European languages, as in the Fr. bouqueran or Ital. bucherame, the derivation of which is unknown), in early usage the name of a fine linen or cotton cloth, but now only of a coarse fabric of linen or cotton stiffened with glue or other substances, used for linings of clothes and in bookbinding. Falstaff's "men in buckram" (Shakespeare, Henry IV., pt. i. II. 4) has become a proverbial phrase for any imaginary persons.