[das-terd-lee] - adjectivecowardly; meanly base; sneaking: a dastardly act.
Frankly, it's all about the Mustache. Somehow, dastardly has become synonymous with the mental picture of a man twirling waxed facial hair between his fingertips. The authentically dastard in the past, John Wilkes Booth, Bill the Butcher, Blackbeard, perhaps set the precedent. Therefore, a person can appear dastardly, and be innocent of any actual dastardliness. Hence the mustache rule.
Insults are what make language fun. And dastardly is perhaps one of the most delicious to say. It is an adjective usually reserved for describing truly despicable specimens of the human race. The traitors, the villains and the scalawags. Because of the mustache rule, however, I can sidestep actually using the inferred insult on the unsuspecting by saying someone looks dastardly.(see mustache chart, for reference)
|The "Dastardly Mustache" Chart.|
Of course, few people are dastardly through and through. Many can act dastardly. That sneaky, mean, innate coward lurks in the dredges of everyone's soul, mustache or not.
But, remember this is why those who don a dastardly mustache seem innately suspect and look unnaturally good in black leather.