Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Skains-mate or Skeins-mate.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Skains-mate or Skeins-mate.
A dagger-comrade; a fencing-school companion; a fellow cut-throat. Skain is an Irish knife, similar to the American bowie-knife. Swift, describing an Irish feast, says, “A cubit at least the length of their skains.” Green, in his Quip for an Upstart Courtier, speaks of “an ill-favoured knave, who wore by his side a skane, like a brewer’s bung-knife.”   1
        “Scurvy knave! I am none of his skainsmates.”—Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, ii. 4.



Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.