Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Skains-mate or Skeins-mate.

 Sizings.Skald. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Skains-mate or Skeins-mate.
 
A dagger-comrade; a fencing-school companion; a fellow cut-throat. Skain is an Irish knife, similar to the American bowie-knife. Swift, describing an Irish feast, says, “A cubit at least the length of their skains.” Green, in his Quip for an Upstart Courtier, speaks of “an ill-favoured knave, who wore by his side a skane, like a brewer’s bung-knife.”   1
        “Scurvy knave! I am none of his skainsmates.”—Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, ii. 4.
 


 Sizings.Skald. 

 
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