coistril

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably from Old French coustillier (groom or lad). Compare custrel.

Noun[edit]

coistril (plural coistrils)

  1. (obsolete) An inferior groom or lad employed by an esquire to carry the knight's arms and other necessaries; a coistrel.
  2. (obsolete) A mean, paltry fellow; a coward.
    • c. 1592, Shakespeare, William; Anonymous, Arden of Faversham, Act 3, Scene 2:
      And he shall 'by his merriment as dear / As ever coistril bought so little sport: / Ne'er let this sword assist me when I need, / But rust and canker after I have sworn.
    • c. 1601–1602, Shakespeare, William, Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 3:
      He's a coward and a coistril that will not / drink to my niece till his brains turn o'the toe like a / parish top.

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