In In the Midst of Alarms (1894) by Robert Barr, Yates was defeated in a friendly fight by his friend, professor Renmark, and he was astonished by the fighting skill of this quiet educated professor
Oh, I say, Renny, that wasn’t fair. That was a kick.”
“No, it wasn’t. It is merely a little French touch. I learned it in Paris. They do kick there, you know; and it is good to know how to use your feet as well as your fists if you are set on by three, as I was one night in the Latin Quarter.”
Yates sat up.
“Look here, Renmark; when were you in Paris?”
Yates gazed at him for a few moments, then said:
“Renny, you improve on acquaintance. I never saw a Bool-var in my life. You must teach me that little kick.
What does a "Bool-var" mean here?