(pron. gheed). Contraction of guidons. A corps of French cavalry which carries the guidon, a standard borne by light horse-soldiers, broad at one end and nearly pointed at the other. The corps des Guides was organised in 1796 by Napoleon as a personal bodyguard; in 1848 several squadrons were created, but Napoleon III. made the corps a part of the Imperial Guard. Great care must be taken not to confound the Guides with the Gardes, as they are totally distinct terms.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894