Kamis, 14 Juli 2011

What's the origin of the word "henchman"?

: henchman etymology

Why: In the Wikipedia plot summary for True Romance, which I haven't seen in years:
Clarence draws a gun and kills Drexl and a henchman.
What's a hench?

Answer: It comes from the word for "horse"!
  • O.N. hesta-maðr, "horse-boy"
  • Ger. Hengst, "stallion"
  • O.E. hengest, "horse, stallion"
  • M.E. henxman, "henchman"
Young henchmen, in fact "pages of honour" or squires, rode or walked at the side of their master in processions and the like, and appear in the English royal household from the 14th century until Tudor Queen Elizabeth I abolished the royal henchmen, known also as the "children of honour."
In full color.
But the Pages of Honour still exist. It is usually a distinction granted to teenage sons of members of the nobility and gentry. Their job is to carry the train of the Queen's dress.
Elizabeth II has had about a million of them.

The word [henxman] became obsolete in England, but was retained in Scottish as "personal attendant of a Highland chief," in which sense Sir Walter Scott revived it in literary English from 1810. The sense of "an obedient or unscrupulous follower" is first recorded 1839, probably based on a misunderstanding of the word as used by Scott.
Source: EtymOnline, Wikipedia

The More You Know: Did you miss this news story? I thought his real name was Jimmy Henchman, and I thought, "Boy, is that unfortunate."
Jimmy Henchman Arrested by Feds DEA confirms that Czar Entertainment honcho was apprehended and arraigned on drug charges

The manhunt for hip-hop music executive James "Jimmy Henchman" Rosemond ended Tuesday afternoon (June 21), the DEA confirmed to MTV News. Henchman, who ran the Czar Entertainment management company overseeing the careers of artists like the Game, was arrested in New York City and charged with heading a cocaine trafficking ring.

Rosemond has been on the lam since warrants were issued for his arrest on May 17. On Tuesday afternoon, the onetime music manager noticed federal agents as he walked out of the W Hotel in Union Square, according to the New York Post. Henchman tried to evade US Marshals and DEA agents by taking off on foot, but was apprehended and arrested on 21st Street and Park Avenue South.

Rosemond was then arraigned in Brooklyn on conspiracy to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine; he is being held without bail, a DEA representative told MTV News.

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