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Meaning of HANDSEL

Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Hand"sel\, n. [Written also {hansel}.] [OE. handsal,
    hansal, hansel, AS. hands?lena giving into hands, or more
    prob. fr. Icel. handsal; hand hand + sal sale, bargain; akin
    to AS. sellan to give, deliver. See {Sell}, {Sale}. ]
    1. A sale, gift, or delivery into the hand of another;
       especially, a sale, gift, delivery, or using which is the
       first of a series, and regarded as on omen for the rest; a
       first installment; an earnest; as the first money received
       for the sale of goods in the morning, the first money
       taken at a shop newly opened, the first present sent to a
       young woman on her wedding day, etc.
             Their first good handsel of breath in this world.
             Our present tears here, not our present laughter,
             Are but the handsels of our joys hereafter.
    2. Price; payment. [Obs.] --Spenser.
    {Handsel Monday}, the first Monday of the new year, when
       handsels or presents are given to servants, children, etc.
  2. \Hand"sel\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Handseled} or
    {Handseled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Handseling} or {Handselling}.]
    [Written also hansel.] [OE handsellen, hansellen; cf. Icel.
    hadsala, handselja. See {Handsel}, n.]
    1. To give a handsel to.
    2. To use or do for the first time, esp. so as to make
       fortunate or unfortunate; to try experimentally.
             No contrivance of our body, but some good man in
             Scripture hath handseled it with prayer. --Fuller.