One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A civilian official invested with the rank and responsibilities of a military officer and with judicial powers enabling him to act as a local administrator and magistrate.
- ‘Later that day Commandant de Beer and Field Cornet Grobbelaar came personally to the laager to urge Gen. Cronje to attempt his escape.’
- ‘They referred me to the Field Cornet, who denied the use of explosive bullets.’
2A rank in the army equivalent to that of lieutenant.
- ‘The play has a number of characters with the rank of field-cornet, operating with British forces to quell the rebellion of 1815.’
- ‘I've assigned him the rank of Field Cornet, the Boer equivallent of a non-commissioned officer.’
Translating South African Dutch veld kornet, from veld ‘field’ + kornet, specifying a military rank.
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