Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Obsolete Mister; fellow. Used as a contemptuous form of address.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a term of address to an inferior male or more commonly a child. A modern day equivalent would be "little man".

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A term of address implying inferiority and used in anger, contempt, reproach, or disrespectful familiarity, addressed to a man or boy, but sometimes to a woman. In sililoquies often preceded by ah. Not used in the plural.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A word of address, generally equivalent to “fellow,” or to “sir” with an angry or contemptuous force.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. formerly a contemptuous term of address to an inferior man or boy; often used in anger

Etymologies

Alteration of sir.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • You should see some of OUR outfits before you knock biker shorts, sirrah.

    Axl Is As Pleased As We Are By Your Efforts

  • Then, louder, she added in what was almost a roar, “Stand aside, sirrah!”

    Shameless

  • To talk of dragons, sirrah, living ones, in the court of King Kenneret Death-of-Dragons, is to talk treason.

    PodCastle » 2009 » February

  • Ho, sirrah! what art thou about? taking a stealthy pull at the wine?

    The Cyclops

  • By whom? who has been pounding thy head, old sirrah?

    The Cyclops

  • “Out, sirrah!” exclaimed one of the champions, “will you, a wandering beggar, put yourself on terms of resistance against belted knights?”

    Quentin Durward

  • “Peace, sirrah!” said the Count of Crevecoeur, “your tongue runs too fast.”

    Quentin Durward

  • Thou, sirrah, tell me straight the country whence thou camest thither.

    The Heracleidae

  • ‘How long have you been with the party, sirrah?’ said

    Redgauntlet

  • Ha! sirrah, art thou mad? art so eager to find sorrow?

    Hecuba

Comments

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  • "MENENIUS: Sirrah, if thy captain knew I were here he would use me with estimation."
    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 29, 2009

  • The punny, it burns...and the goggles do nothing - nothing!

    October 4, 2007

  • *groans*

    October 4, 2007

  • Que Sirrah Sirrah! Whatever will be, will be.

    October 4, 2007

  • Aha. I didn't see the irony on the page. Forgive me, yes siree!

    October 4, 2007

  • You're right! I was using it somewhat ironically. Or as an alternative to "yes sirree!"

    The Free Dictionary says:
    (noun) Formerly a contemptuous term of address to an inferior man or boy; often used in anger

    male person, male - a person who belongs to the sex that cannot have babies

    OED says:
    1526, term of address used to men or boys expressing anger or contempt, archaic extended form of sir (in U.S., siree, attested from 1823).

    October 4, 2007

  • I like it too--but wasn't it originally a contemptuous form of address?

    October 4, 2007

  • This word needs to come back into fashion. Wordies, make it so!

    October 4, 2007