One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of a class of mercenary soldiers in the German and other continental armies in the 16th and 17th centuries.archaic variant is lansquenet
- ‘If there was an exception to this rule it would be in the case of the landsknechts, German mercenary pikemen and musketeers renowned for their swagger, menace, and exaggeratedly flamboyant dress.’
From German Landsknecht, literally ‘soldier of the land’.
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