lily-livered

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Cowardly, lacking courage.

Etymology:

  • The first known use of lily-livered was in 1605. From the medieval belief that the liver was the seat of courage, and the pale color of the lily flower. A person who had no blood in their liver would have no courage and would thus be a coward. Equivalent to lily + livered.
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Ste[ward]. What doſt thou know me for? / Kent. [ …] [A] Lilly-liuered, action-taking knave, [ …] one that would'ſt be a Baud in way of good ſeruice, and art nothing but the compoſition of a Knaue, Begger, Coward, Pandar, and the Sonne and Heire of a Mungrill Bitch, [ …]

Submitted on July 10, 2018

Additional definitions for 'lily-livered':

lily-liveredCowardly, lacking bravery.
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"lily-livered." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 25 Jun 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/lily-livered_26040>.

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