1. archaic. a swaggering roistering fellow; a vagabond rogue or beggar of the 16th century often professing to be an injured soldier
“Where are the bawcocks and the bullies bold,
The swaggerers, the rufflers, all of they
Who strutted on the deck and filled the hold
With silk and spice and yellow Spanish gold:
The loot of Ind, of Panama and Cathay?
“Frown hard upon their deeds if so ye will,
And name them crimson-handed, black of heart—
They braved unknown worlds and seas, had their fill
Of death and danger where the sunsets spill
Unreckoned perils, and they took their part
Of cannonade and cutlass, wind and rack.
They paved the way for ye who were to come;
Aye, ye who followed rode a beaten track. . .
[from “Drake Sings of Yesterday”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 466 and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 412]