blackguard (n.) 1530s, scullion, kitchen knave. Perhaps once an actual military or guard unit; more likely originally 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." Hence the adjectival use (1784), "of low or worthless character."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Blackguard — Black guard (bl[a^]g g[aum]rd), n. [Black + guard.] 1. 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blackguard — Black guard, a. Scurrilous; abusive; low; worthless; vicious; as, blackguard language. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Blackguard — Black guard , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Blackguarded}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Blackguarding}.] To revile or abuse in scurrilous language. Southey. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • blackguard — ► NOUN dated ▪ a man who behaves in a dishonourable or contemptible way. DERIVATIVES blackguardly adjective. ORIGIN originally denoting a body of servants, especially the menials in charge of kitchen utensils; the exact significance of «black» is …   English terms dictionary

  • blackguard — [blag′ərd, blag′ärd΄] n. [ BLACK + GUARD] 1. Historical the lowest servants of a large household, in charge of pots and pans 2. a) a person who uses abusive language b) scoundrel; villain adj. 1. vu …   English World dictionary

  • blackguard — UK [ˈblæɡə(r)d] / US [ˈblæɡərd] noun [countable] Word forms blackguard : singular blackguard plural blackguards old fashioned an immoral man who treats other people very badly …   English dictionary

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