Thursday, December 09, 2010

Origin of the word "Dastard"!

I learned something today.

We have all heard the word "dastardly" and I remember the "dastardly villian" from 1960's cartoons.

This dastardly Canadian battled Dudley Doright for the favor of Nell:

Dick Dastardly and Muttley

The interweb sez that before the late 1400s the meaning of Dastardly was somebody who was lazy or stupid, and the word "dastard" comes from the old French word "dast", meaning "dazed".

The words "Dastardly" is used to describe the acts of a treacherous cowards, like the Japanese sneak attack that brought America into WWII:

"The unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on...December 7th"- President Franklin D. Roosevelt

You Dastard!

So, if there are dastardly people, is there a "dastard"?

I looked it up in my Funk and Wagnall, and evidently there is an definition for "dastard":

Definition of Dastard - a despicable coward. coward - a person who shows fear or timidity.

"The Dastard" book