Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Swashbuckler.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A ruffian; a swaggerer. “From swashing,” says Fuller, “and making a noise on the buckler.” The sword-players used to “swash” or tap their shield, as fencers tap their foot upon the ground when they attack. (Worthies of England.) (A.D. 1662.) (See SWINGE-BUCKLER.)   1
        “A bravo, a swashbuckler, one that for money and good cheere will follow any man to defend him; but if any danger come, he runs away the first, and leaves him in the lurch.”—Florio.



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