from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A wooden pin stuck on the sides of a bedstead, to prevent the bedclothes from slipping on either side.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. “A wooden pin stuck anciently on the sides of the bedstead, to hold the clothes from slipping on either side.”
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A staff or stick formerly used in some way about a bed, and frequently serving as a weapon, in which sense the word most commonly occurs. Specifically—
- n. [Used in the colloquial phrase in the twinkling of a bed-staff, in which, when bedstaff became obsolete, bedpost was substituted, depriving the phrase of its literal force in modern use.
bed + staff (Wiktionary)