Alternative forms: bead
Pronunciation: (UK) IPA(key): /biːd/
From Middle English bēde (“prayer, request, supplication, order, command, rosary, bead”), from Old English gebed (“prayer, petition, supplication, religious service, an ordinance”), from Proto-Germanic *bedą (“prayer, entreaty”). Cognate with Dutch gebed and bede, German Gebet.
bede (plural bedes or beden)
prayer, request, supplication quotations
2011, Where Did Beaded Flowers Come From?:Because of the length of the original rosary, it became customary to pay someone, usually a resident of an almshouse, to recite the prayers. These people were referred to as bede women or men, and it was they who made the first bead flowers.
From Middle English bēden (“to pray, offer, proffer, request, demand, order, command, forbid; proclaim, declare; present, counsel, advise, exhort”), from Old English bēodian (“to command, decree, summon, banish, declare, inform, announce, proclaim; threaten, offer, proffer, give, grant, surrender”), from Proto-Germanic *beudaną, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰewdʰ-. Germanic cognates include Old Frisian biada, Old Saxon biodan (Low German beden), Dutch bieden, Old High German biotan (German bieten), Old Norse bjóða (Swedish bjuda (“command, show”)), Gothic *?????? (*biudan) (attested in compounds). The Indo-European root is also the source of Ancient Greek πευθεσθαι (peuthesthai, “ask for”), Sanskrit बोधयित (bodhayita, “wake”), Old Church Slavonic бъдети (bŭdeti) (Russian будить (budit’, “wake”)), Lithuanian budeti (“awake”).
– ORIGIN German, colloquial variant of nichts ‘nothing’.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary