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From earlier flugleman, flugelman, from German Flügelmann (a file-leader), from Flügel (a wing, file) + Mann (man).


fugleman (plural fuglemen)

  1. The member of a military group who leads the way or demonstrates drill; hence, someone who keeps the beat or timing, and/or demonstrates motions in other contexts.
    • 1876 January, “A Week among the Maoris of Lake Taupo”, in The Cornhill Magazine, volume XXXIII, number 193, London: Smith, Elder & Co., 15 Waterloo Place, OCLC 561748243, page 65:
      A "Haka" is the native dance, answering to the corroboree of the Australian aboriginals, and we were anxious to see it. [] Later in the evening, however, the complaisant Herekiekie entertained a small and select party at a "Haka" in his "whare" or house (pronounced wharry). It was exactly what I expected. The performers, all male, stood in a row, one, slightly advanced, acting as fugleman. They shouted and gesticulated with the most hideous and revolting gestures, grimaces, and yells.
  2. (by extension) A political leader, or a ringleader.

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