c. 1300, "foot soldier;" late 14c., "one who goes on foot," from foot (n.) + man (n.). As a personal attendant, originally one who ran before or alongside his master's carriage, announcing its arrival (and keeping it from spilling). The non-jogging man-in-waiting sense is from c. 1700, though the running footmen still were in service mid-18c. From foot (n.) + man (n.).
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