Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Word of the day: yeoman

The word of the day is yeoman:
  1. a petty officer in a navy, having chiefly clerical duties in the U.S. Navy.
c.1300, "attendant in a noble household," of unknown origin, perhaps a contraction of O.E. iunge man "young man," or from an unrecorded O.E. *geaman, equivalent of O.Fris. gaman "villager," from O.E. -gea "district, village," cognate with O.Fris. ga, ge, from P.Gmc. *gaujan. Sense of "commoner who cultivates his land" is recorded from early 15c.; also the third order of fighting men (late 14c., below knights and squires, above knaves), hence yeomen's service "good, efficient service" (c.1600). Meaning "naval petty officer in charge of supplies" is first attested 1660s. Yeowoman first recorded 1852: "Then I am yeo-woman O the clumsy word!" [Tennyson, "The Foresters"]


"Helen taught the fourth grade before serving as a yeoman in the Navy during World War II."

 - "SPLC supporter known for her 'attitude of gratitude'", Spring 2016 SPLC Report

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