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See also: lemán, Leman, and Léman


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English lemman, variant of leofman, from Old English *lēofmann ("lover; sweetheart"; attested as a personal name), equivalent to lief +‎ man ("beloved person").



leman (plural lemans)

  1. (archaic) One beloved; a lover, a sweetheart of either sex (especially a secret lover, gallant, or mistress).
  2. (often negative) A paramour.
    • 1915, Oscar Wilde, A House of Pomegranates: The Fisherman and his Soul:
      '...They are lost, I tell thee, they are lost. For them there is no heaven nor hell, and in neither shall they praise God’s name.’
      ‘Father,’ cried the young Fisherman, ‘thou knowest not what thou sayest. Once in my net I snared the daughter of a King. She is fairer than the morning star, and whiter than the moon. For her body I would give my soul, and for her love I would surrender heaven. Tell me what I ask of thee, and let me go in peace.’
      ‘Away! Away!’ cried the Priest: ‘thy leman is lost, and thou shalt be lost with her.’
      And he gave him no blessing, but drove him from his door.
    • 1932, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song:
      And he sent the news to William the Lyon, sitting drinking the wine and fondling his bonny lemans in Edinburgh Town, and William made him the Knight of Kinraddie [].