bachelor

[13] The ultimate origins of bachelor are obscure, but by the time it first turned up, in Old French bacheler (from a hypothetical Vulgar Latin *baccalāris), it meant ‘squire’ or ‘young knight in the service of an older knight’. This was the sense it had when borrowed into English, and it is preserved, in fossilized form, in knight bachelor. Subsequent semantic development was via ‘university graduate’ to, in the late 14th century, ‘unmarried man’. A resemblance to Old Irish bachlach ‘shepherd, peasant’ (a derivative of Old Irish bachall ‘staff’, from Latin baculum, source of English bacillus and related to English bacteria) has led some to speculate that the two may be connected. English baccalaureate [17] comes via French baccalauréat or medieval Latin baccalaureātus from medieval Latin baccalaureus ‘bachelor’, which was an alteration of an earlier baccalārius, perhaps owing to an association with the ‘laurels’ awarded for academic success (Latin bacca lauri meant literally ‘laurel berry’).

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bachelor — Bach e*lor (b[a^]ch [ e]*l[ e]r), n. [OF. bacheler young man, F. bachelier (cf. Pr. bacalar, Sp. bachiller, Pg. bacharel, It. baccalare), LL. baccalarius the tenant of a kind of farm called baccalaria, a soldier not old or rich enough to lead his …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bachelor — (n.) c.1300, young man; also youthful knight, novice in arms, from O.Fr. bacheler (11c.) knight bachelor, a young squire in training for knighthood, of uncertain origin, perhaps from M.L. baccalarius vassal farmer, one who helps or tends a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • bachelor — [bach′ə lər, bach′lər] n. [ME bacheler < OFr bachelier < ML baccalaris: see BACCALAUREATE] 1. in the feudal system, a young knight and landholder who served under another s banner: also bachelor at arms 2. a man who has not married 3. a… …   English World dictionary

  • Bachelor No.2 — (1999) d Aimee Mann How am I Different Nothing Is Good Enough Red Vines The Fall Of The World s Own Optimist Satellite Deathly Ghost World Calling It Quits Susan Backfire It Takes All Kinds Save me Just like anyone You do Portail de la musique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bachelor — (engl., spr. Bättschler), s.u. Baccalareus …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Bachelor — (engl., spr. bättscheler) s. Bakkalaureus …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • bachelor — [n] unmarried man or woman available*, celibate, single*, single person, stag*, unattached; concepts 415,419,423 Ant. groom, husband, spouse …   New thesaurus

  • bachelor — ► NOUN 1) a man who has never been married. 2) a person who holds a first degree from a university. DERIVATIVES bachelorhood noun. ORIGIN Old French bacheler a young man aspiring to knighthood …   English terms dictionary

  • Bachelor — Der Bachelor ([ˈbætʃə.lɚ] oder [ˈbætʃlɚ], dt. auch Bakkalaureus; aus engl. bachelor, geht auf das lat. baccalaureus, „(Jung )Geselle“, zurück) ist der erste akademische Grad eines gestuften Universitätsstudiums oder Hochschulstudiums und zugleich …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bachelor — This article is about the term for an unmarried man. For other uses, see Bachelor (disambiguation). A bachelor is a man above the age of majority who has never been married (see single person). Unlike his female counterpart, the spinster, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Bachelor — Ba|che|lor 〈[ bæ̣tʃələ(r)] m.; od. s, s; Abk.: B.; in den USA u. Europa〉 Sy Bakkalaureus 1. unterster akademischer Grad; Sy Bakkalaureat 2. Inhaber des Bachelor (1) * * * Ba|che|lor [ bɛt̮ʃəlɐ ], der; [s] …   Universal-Lexikon

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