(2 syl.). A favourite name in French plays, insomuch that Robert Macaire is sometimes used generically for a Frenchman. It is said that Aubrey de Montdidier was murdered in the forest of Bondy in 1371. His dog conceived such a hatred against Robert Macaire that suspicion was aroused, and it was resolved to pit the man and dog together. The result was fatal to the man, who died confessing his guilt. The story is found in a chanson de geste of the 12th century, called La Reine Sibile.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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