Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Coward and a Scoundrel

Back in the day if you had a beef with someone and they didn't have the guts to fight a duel with you, they could expect to be called out in public. In the Old South a man's honor could be as fragile as egg shells. And, if he felt slighted in some way, no matter how insignificant, the offender would receive some measure of retribution.

The insulting names cast about were colorful and meant to damage an enemy's reputation. This man chose "coward" and "scoundrel," but other monikers and adjectives included: liar, poltroon, blackleg, blackguard, puppy (apparently a little nicer way to say S.O.B.), miscreant, insidious, fool, and one duelist even called his opponent an "ugly, gawky, Yankee looking fellow;" a serious insult to any self-respecting Southerner.

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