One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of a Thing; specifically = "housecarl".
Early 19th century. From Thing + man, after Old Icelandic þingmaðr person present at a Thing, member of parliament (plural þingmenn), also in plural form Þingmenn in specific use denoting the housecarls or bodyguards of Cnut and his successors in England; compare also the genitive compound Þingamenn in this specifically sense.
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