One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An official employed by a town.
2In Scotland: an officer of the town guard, responsible for keeping public order. Now historical.
3Originally North American (US in later use). Especially in New England: an elected officer of a township.
Early 16th century. In some forms from town + officer.
town officer/ˈtaʊn ˌɒfɪsə/
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