Wednesday, June 27, 2001
Definitions for blackguard
- A rude or unscrupulous person; a scoundrel.
- A person who uses foul or abusive language.
- Scurrilous; abusive; low; worthless; vicious; as, "blackguard language."
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Citations for blackguard
Douglas was not a saint, though, so his behaviour and attitude were, as he wrote, 'neither better nor worse than my contemporaries -- that is to say, [I became] a finished young blackguard, ripe for any kind of wickedness'.
The years, as time went on, imparted to him that peculiar majesty that white-haired blackguards, successful (and unpunished) criminals, seem generally to possess.
Origin of blackguard
Blackguard is from black + guard. The term originally referred to the lowest kitchen servants of a court or of a nobleman's household. They had charge of pots and pans and kitchen other utensils, and rode in wagons conveying these during journeys from one residence to another. Being dirtied by this task, they were jocularly called the "black guard."