One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A beggar claiming to have been released on licence from the Hospital of St Mary of Bethlehem in London, or any similar institution; (more generally) any vagabond or petty criminal who feigns insanity, especially in order to obtain money by begging.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Harman (fl. 1547–1567), writer on vagabonds. From the personal name Abraham + man.
Abraham man/ˈeɪbrəham ˌman/
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.