1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bracket

BRACKET, in architecture and carpentering, a projecting feature either in wood or metal for holding things together or supporting a shelf. The same feature in stone is called a “console” (q.v.). In furniture it is a small ornamental shelf for a wall or a corner, to bear knick-knacks, china or other bric-à-brac. The word has been referred to “brace,” clamp, Lat. bracchium, arm, but the earliest form “bragget” (1580) points to the true derivation from the Fr. braguette, or Span. bragueta (Lat. bracae, breeches), used both of the front part of a pair of breeches and of the architectural feature. The sense development is not clear, but it has no doubt been influenced by the supposed connexion with “brace.”