One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A disputed reading of Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatraiii. x., equated by various editors and commentators with "ribald [adjective]"; hence in allusive use.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in William Shakespeare (1564–1616), playwright and poet. Probably the result of an editorial misreading, but understood by many editors of Shakespeare to show a derivative of ribald or ribald.
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