Kestrel

A hawk of a base breed, hence a worthless fellow. Also used as an adjective.

No thought of honour ever did assay
His baser brest; but in his kestrell kynd
A pleasant veine of glory he did find ...

Spenser: Faerie Queene, book ii, canto iii. 3.

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