Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Sieve and Shears.

 Sies’ta (3 syl.)Sif. 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Sieve and Shears.
 
The device of discovering a guilty person by sieve and shears is to stick a pair of shears in a sieve, and give the sieve into the hands of two virgins, then say: “By St. Peter and St. Paul, if you [or you] have stolen the article, turn shears to the thief.” Sometimes a Bible and key are employed instead, in which case the key is placed in a Bible.   1
 


 Sies’ta (3 syl.)Sif. 

 
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