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Alternative forms[edit]


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


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.