blackguard

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v blackguard use foul or abusive language towards "The actress abused the policeman who gave her a parking ticket","The angry mother shouted at the teacher"
    • v blackguard subject to laughter or ridicule "The satirists ridiculed the plans for a new opera house","The students poked fun at the inexperienced teacher","His former students roasted the professor at his 60th birthday"
    • n blackguard someone who is morally reprehensible "you dirty dog"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Blackguard A person of stained or low character, esp. one who uses scurrilous language, or treats others with foul abuse; a scoundrel; a rough. "A man whose manners and sentiments are decidedly below those of his class deserves to be called a blackguard ."
    • Blackguard A vagrant; a bootblack; a gamin.
    • a Blackguard Scurrilous; abusive; low; worthless; vicious; as, blackguard language.
    • Blackguard The criminals and vagrants or vagabonds of a town or community, collectively.
    • Blackguard The scullions and lower menials of a court, or of a nobleman's household, who, in a removal from one residence to another, had charge of the kitchen utensils, and being smutted by them, were jocularly called the “black guard”; also, the servants and hangers-on of an army. "A lousy slave, that . . . rode with the black guard in the duke's carriage, 'mongst spits and dripping pans."
    • v. t Blackguard To revile or abuse in scurrilous language.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n blackguard In collective senses (properly as two words): The scullions and lowest menials connected with a great household, who attended to the pots, coals, etc., and looked after them when the household moved from one place to another.
    • n blackguard A guard of attendants, black in color of the skin or dress, or in character.
    • n blackguard The idle criminal class; vagabonds generally.
    • n blackguard The vagabond children of great towns; “city Arabs,” who run errands, black shoes, or do odd jobs.
    • n blackguard A man of coarse and offensive manners and speech; a fellow of low character; a scamp; a scoundrel.
    • blackguard Belonging to the menials of a household; serving; waiting.
    • blackguard Of bad character; vicious; vile; low; worthless: said of persons and things.
    • blackguard Scurrilous; abusive; befitting a blackguard: as,blackguard language.
    • blackguard To revile in scurrilous language.
    • blackguard To be, act, or talk like a blackguard; behave riotously.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Blackguard (blag′ärd) originally applied to the lowest menials about a court, who took charge of the pots, kettles, &c.: a low, ill-conducted fellow
    • ***

Quotations

  • Ambrose Bierce
    Ambrose%20Bierce
    “A cynic is a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, and not as they ought to be.”
  • Edgar Allan Poe
    Edgar%20Allan%20Poe
    “Believe me, there exists no such dilemma as that in which a gentleman is placed when he is forced to reply to a blackguard.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Black, + guard,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. blac, blæc, black.

Usage

In literature:

A little law would have saved us from evicting those blackguards at Mullenalick, or kicking Mr. Hall's bailiff before witnesses.
"Lord Kilgobbin" by Charles Lever
You're a blackguard of the first water.
"Thoroughbreds" by W. A. Fraser
He had entered the shop at eight o'clock that morning a blackguard as well as a vagabond.
"Henry Dunbar" by M. E. Braddon
The Jingo who wants to admire himself is worse than the blackguard who only wants to enjoy himself.
"Alarms and Discursions" by G. K. Chesterton
You are acting like a blackguard.
"In the Valley" by Harold Frederic
I am a blackguard but there are some things that even I can't do.
"Redemption and Two Other Plays" by Leo Tolstoy
I grant you that there is a certain fairness in trying the blackguard and the religionist by different standards.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862" by Various
Now, it came to his knowledge that Lord Estcombe had been using blackguard means to win away the girl's affections.
"Viviette" by William J. Locke
He was used to being blackguarded by the enemies of his country, but now he was hounded in the house of his friends.
"Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 6, May 7, 1870" by Various
I admit one oughtn't to blackguard one's host, but, Mary, you must see that this marriage is absolutely out of the question!
"The Yellow Streak" by Valentine Williams
If any blackguard among you dares to insult me openly, I shall smash his face.
"The Postmaster's Daughter" by Louis Tracy
I will hire some blackguards to seize him, and bind him in my presence, and I will bastinado him with my own hand.
"Damon and Delia" by William Godwin
He was one of a set who tried to look like blackguards, and really succeeded tolerably.
"Yeast: A Problem" by Charles Kingsley
D'ye mane Madam Willoughby by yer blackguard name?
"Wyandotte" by James Fenimore Cooper
Otherwise you might have carried to your grave the fear instilled into your soul by that blackguard.
"Red Masquerade" by Louis Joseph Vance
The phrase in Miss Goold's letter in which she had originally described her men as blackguards recurred to his mind.
"Hyacinth" by George A. Birmingham
You'll see a great many cruel blackguard things done, and hear a deal of foul, bad talk.
"The World's Greatest Books, Volume V." by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.
Yet such an act would be blackguardly, and to be restrained.
"Phaethon" by Charles Kingsley
Are you a man of honour or nought but a mean, pitiful blackguard?
"The Red Thumb Mark" by R. Austin Freeman
He is ready to confess that all his own British forerunners were abominable blackguards.
"The Open Secret of Ireland" by T. M. Kettle
***

In poetry:

Yet I, a coin-denied wight,
By Fortune quite discarded;
Ye see how I am, day and night,
By lad and lass blackguarded.
"Ah, Woe Is Me, My Mother Dear" by Robert Burns
The leaves on heat were all torn out
From every book at school,
And many blackguards kicked and caned,
Because they said, "Keep cool!"
"The Hot Season" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
At priest and parson spit and bark,
And shake your "church" with curses,
You bitter blackguard of the dark —
With this I close my verses.
"A Hyde Park Larrikin" by Henry Kendall
Now I’m serious and angry, for it isn’t any joke—
Poets have been damned for ages by such evil-minded folk.
Must we all be public blackguards? Can’t a rhymer be a man,
Spite of Byron’s silly mistress—Burns’s gawky Mary Ann?
"The Sorrows of a Simple Bard" by Henry Lawson