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Alternative forms[edit]


From black +‎ guard, thought to have referred originally to the scullions and lower menials of a court, or of a nobleman's household, who wore black liveries or blacked shoes and boots, or were often stained with soot.



blackguard (plural blackguards)

  1. The lowest servant in a household charged with pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment.
  2. (old-fashioned, usually used only of men) A scoundrel; an unprincipled contemptible person; an untrustworthy person.
  3. (archaic) A man who uses foul language in front of a woman, typically a woman of high standing in society.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


blackguard (third-person singular simple present blackguards, present participle blackguarding, simple past and past participle blackguarded)

  1. (transitive) To revile or abuse in scurrilous language.
    • 1850, Robert Southey, English Manners
      Persons who passed each other in boats upon the Thames used to blackguard each other, in a trial of wit
    • 1962 August, “Let's have plain speaking”, in Modern Railways, page 73:
      The Southern Region takes, in the main, a candid line with its public. [...] An ill-informed attempt to blackguard the railway publicly is likely to see the complainant put politely—but very firmly—in his place.
  2. (intransitive) To act like a blackguard; to be a scoundrel.

Further reading[edit]