old english word definitions

6 of 19
backfriend (n.)
An enemy in secret. We all know the word "frenemy"—a supposed friend who tries to undermine you—but a backfriend is a little different. The poet Robert Southey (Johnson's definition credits him for the word) wrote in his biography, "I have had backfriends ... as well as enemies." It's just as useful today as it was three centuries ago.