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coistrel ( “coystrill,” Cambridge ), TWELFTH NIGHT, i. 3. 37; PERICLES, iv. 6. 164. “A coystril is a paltry groom, one only fit to carry arms, but not to use them. So, in Holinshed's [Harrison's] Description of England, vol. i. p. 162: ‘Costerels, or bearers of the armes of barons or knights,’ etc. ” (TOLLET) . Coistrel is often used as a general term of reproach; and I believe, in spite of Gifford's note on Jonson's Works, vol. i. p. 109, that it is a distinct word from kestrel (Coustrell that wayteth on a speare, cousteillier.Palsgrave's Lesclar. de la Lang. Fr. 1530, fol. xxvii. [Table of Subst.]:
“A carter a courtyer, it is a worthy warke,
That with his whyp his mares was wonte to yarke;
A custrell to dryue the deuyll out of the derke,”
Skelton's Magnyfycence,—Works, vol. i. p. 241, ed. Dyce.

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  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (2):
    • William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 4.6
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 1.3
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