Kern. n.s. [an Irish word.] Irish foot soldier; an Irish boor.
Out of the fry of these rake-hell horseboys, growing up in knavery and villainy, are their kearn supplied. Spenser.
No sooner justice had with valour arm'd,
Compell'd these skipping kernes to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord, surveying advantage,
Began a fresh assault. Shakespeare's Macbeth.
If in good plight these Northern kerns arrive,
Then does fortune promise fair. Philip's Briton.