Words related to yeoman

boor (n.)

early 14c., "country-man, peasant farmer, rustic," from Old French bovier "herdsman," from Latin bovis, genitive of bos "cow, ox." This was reinforced by or merged with native Old English gebur "dweller, farmer, peasant" (unrelated but similar in sound and sense), and 16c. by its Dutch cognate boer, from Middle Dutch gheboer "fellow dweller," from Proto-Germanic *buram "dweller," especially "farmer" (compare German Bauer), from PIE root *bheue- "to be, exist, grow."

"A word of involved history in and out of English, though the ultimate etymology is clear enough" [OED]. In English it often was applied to agricultural laborers in or from other lands, as opposed to the native yeoman; the negative transferred sense of "one who is rude in manners," attested by 1560s (in boorish), is from the city-dweller's notion of clownish rustics. Related: Boorishness.

gau (n.)

ancient German territorial and administrative division, originally comprising several villages, from Old High German gawi, from Proto-Germanic *gauja-, which is of uncertain origin. surviving in place names such as Breisgau and Oberammergau; also in gauleiter (with leiter "leader"), title of the local political leaders under the Nazi system. Compare the first element in yeoman.

*man- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "man."

It forms all or part of: alderman; Alemanni; fugleman; Herman; hetman; landsman; leman; man; manikin; mannequin; mannish; mensch; Norman; ombudsman; yeoman.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit manuh, Avestan manu-, Old Church Slavonic mozi, Russian muzh "man, male;" Old English man, mann "human being, person; brave man, hero; servant, vassal."


Old English suþrige (722), literally "Southerly District" (relative to Middlesex), from suðer, from suð (see south) + -ge "district" (see yeoman). Bede and others use it as a folk-name, as if "People from Surrey." Meaning "two-seated, four-wheeled pleasure carriage" is from 1895, short for Surrey cart, an English pleasure cart (introduced in U.S. 1872), named for Surrey, England, where it first was made.

yeomanry (n.)

"yeomen collectively," late 14c., from yeoman + -ry.