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SCARAMOUCH, properly a buffoon, used later colloquially for a ne'er-do-well. The name was that of a stock character in lyth-century Italian farce, Scaramuccia (i.e. literally " skirmish "), who, attired usually in a black Spanish dress, burlesquing a " don," was beaten by Harlequin for his boasting and cowardice. The part was played in London in 1673 by a well-known Italian actor, Tiberic Fiurelli, and became popular. There are many instances of the use of the word in the New English Dictionary.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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