From Middle English yoman, yeman, from Old English *ġēamann (compare Old Frisian gāman (“villager”), Middle Dutch goymann (“arbiter”)), compound of gē, gēa (“district, region”) (in ælgē, Sūthrigēa), from Proto-Germanic *gawi (compare West Frisian gea, goa, Dutch gouw, German Gau) + mann (“man”).
yeoman (plural yeomen)
- (UK) An official providing honorable service in a royal or high noble household, ranking between a squire and a page. Especially, a Yeoman of the Guard, a member of a ceremonial bodyguard to the UK monarch (not to be confused with a Yeoman Warder).
- (US) A dependable, diligent, or loyal worker or someone who does a great service.
- (historical) A former class of small freeholders who farm their own land; a commoner of good standing.
- A subordinate, deputy, aide, or assistant.
- A Yeoman Warder.
- A clerk in the US navy, and US Coast Guard.
- (nautical) In a vessel of war, the person in charge of the storeroom.
- A member of the Yeomanry Cavalry officially chartered in 1794 originating around the 1760s.
- A member of the Imperial Yeomanry officially created in 1890s and renamed in 1907.
- ^ Robert K. Barnhart, ed., Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, s.v. “yeoman” (Edinburgh: Chambers, , c1988), 1253.
- ^ American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edn., s.v. “yeoman”.