The origin of the word “Freelance”

Word CatcherI come from a long line of mercenaries. Medieval mercenaries, to be exact.

Free-lancers were once free-companions who pledged “their loyalties and their lancers to whomever they pleased.” And yes, free-lancers charged even then. Free meant they had the free will to work for whomever they wanted to work for. It didn’t mean their services were free.

I love reading about the origins of words, and this lovely little book, Word Catcher, by Phil Cousineau, provides fascinating tidbits on every page. One of my favorite things about this book is that it is like a little dictionary. I can pop it open to any page at all, and learn something new.

For now, I have a lot of freelancing work to catch up on.

 

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