Where does the word “lord” come from and What does lord mean?

Just as “lady” was gradually formed through alterations in the pronunciation of the Old English original hlaefdige, so was “lord” formed from hlaford or hlafweard.

The forms in which it appeared were also numerous, including the twelfth century laford, leverd, lauerd, and the fourteenth century louerd, lhord, and lorde.

And just as the original meaning of “lady” was “breadmaker,” so was the original meaning of lord “keeper (weard) of the loaf (hlaf).” The significance of the title was that he who was the keeper of the bread was master of the household.

His servant, in those ancient days, was known as hlaf-aeta, literally, “loaf-eater.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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