Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Toby (the dog),

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Toby (the dog),
in Punchinello, wears a frill garnished with bells, to frighten away the devil from his master. This is a very old superstition. (See PASSING BELL.)   1
        The Chinese and other nations make a great noise at death to scare away evil spirits. “Keening” is probably based on the same superstition.


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