A bundle of small pieces of wood used to start a fire. Several bundles were placed around larger pieces of wood used to burn Witches and heretics who had been tied to a stake. Today it is a pejorative term used against homosexual males. Although it has been claimed that this is because gay men were burned to start the fires that burned Witches, there is no evidence to support this. It is more likely that its use in this way is derived from its meaning as an “old and unpleasant woman,” possibly a shortening of the epithet “faggot-gatherer” used to describe some old, poor women.