1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Faggot
FAGGOT, a bundle of sticks used for firewood. The word is adapted from the Fr. fagot, and appears in Italian as fagotto, the name given to the bassoon (q.v.). “Faggot” is frequently used with reference to the burning of heretics, and recanted heretics wore an embroidered faggot on the arm as a symbol of the punishment they had escaped. In the 18th century the word is used of a “dummy” soldier, appearing on the rolls of a regiment. It is this use, coupled with the idea of a bundle of sticks as being capable of subdivision, that appears in the expression “faggot-vote,” a vote artificially created by the minute splitting up of property so as to give a bare qualification for the franchise.