William Shakespeare used this word for diverse small trifles:
Petruchio (Taming of the Shrew)
"Why, thou say'st true; it is a paltry cap,
A custard-coffin, a bauble, a silken pie;
I love thee well in that thou lik'st it not."
"She was here even now; she haunts me in every place. I was
the other day talking on the sea bank with certain Venetians, and
thither comes the bauble, and, by this hand, she falls me thus
about my neck-"
Aaron (Titus Andronicus)
"What if I do not? as indeed I do not;
Yet, for I know thou art religious
And hast a thing within thee called conscience,
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,
Therefore I urge thy oath. For that I know
An idiot holds his bauble for a god,
And keeps the oath which by that god he swears,
To that I'll urge him. Therefore thou shalt vow
By that same god- what god soe'er it be
That thou adorest and hast in reverence-
To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up;
Or else I will discover nought to thee."
The clown (All's Well that Ends Well)
"And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service."
Mercutio (Romeo & Juliet)
"Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? Now art
thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art thou what thou art, by
art as well as by nature. For this drivelling love is like a
great natural that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in