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  • "'That smart young fellow, your mate's aid de con, as you might say, is he a prize-fighter?'"

    --Patrick O'Brian, Blue at the Mizzen, 150

    March 27, 2008

  • According to this page, it is some sort of pun.

    March 28, 2008

  • Yes, the character who's saying it is not very knowledgeable.

    Edit: Google books lists other usages for it, though, which seems to imply it isn't just a mistake.

    March 28, 2008