Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Coys’tril,

 Coyne and Livery.Cozen. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Coystrel, or Kestrel. A degenerate hawk; hence, a paltry fellow. Holinshed says, “costerels or bearers of the arms of barons or knights” (vol. i. p. 162); and again, “women, lackeys, and costerels are considered as the unwarlike attendants on an army” (vol. iii. 272). Each of the life-guards of Henry VIII. had an attendant, called a coystrel or coystril. Some think the word is a corruption of costerel, which they derive from the Latin coterellus (a peasant); but if not a corruption of kestrel, I should derive it from costrel (a small wooden bottle used by labourers in harvest time). “Vasa quœdam quœ costrelli vocantur.” (Matthew Paris.)   1
        “He’s a coward and a coystril that will not drink to my niece.”—Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, i. 3.

 Coyne and Livery.Cozen. 


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