Cross-patch

A disagreeable, ill-tempered person, male or female. Patch means a fool or gossip; so called from his parti-coloured or patched dress. A cross-patch is an ill-tempered fool or gossip. Patch, meaning “fellow,” is common enough; half a dozen examples occur in Shakespeare, as a “scurvy patch,” a “soldier's patch,” “What patch is made our porter?” “a crew of patches,” etc.

Cross-patch, draw the latch,
Sit by the fire and spin;
Take a cup, and drink it up,
Then call your neighbours in.

Old Nursery Rhyme.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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