blackguard

blackguard

[blag-ahrd, -erd, blak-gahrd]
noun
1.
a low, contemptible person; scoundrel.
2.
Obsolete.
a.
a group of menial workers in the kitchen of a large household.
b.
the servants of an army.
c.
camp followers.
verb (used with object)
3.
to revile in scurrilous language.

Origin:
1525–35; black + guard; original sense obscure

blackguardism, noun
blackguardly, adverb


1. scamp, rascal, rapscallion, rogue, devil, villain. 3. berate, vilify.
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World English Dictionary
blackguard (ˈblæɡɑːd, -ɡəd)
 
n
1.  a.  an unprincipled contemptible person; scoundrel
 b.  (as modifier): blackguard language
 
vb
2.  (tr) to ridicule or denounce with abusive language
3.  (intr) to behave like a blackguard
 
[C16: originally a collective noun referring to the lowest menials in court, camp followers, vagabonds; see black, guard]
 
'blackguardism
 
n
 
'blackguardly
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

blackguard
1530s, of uncertain application. Perhaps once an actual military or guard unit; more likely orig. a mock-military reference to scullions and kitchen-knaves of noble households, of black-liveried personal guards, and of shoeblacks. By 1736, sense had emerged of "one of the criminal class."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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