One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Scottish, Irish English (northern), and English regional (northern). A boy, a lad; a young man, a fellow. In early use also: †a companion, an associate (obsolete).
Early 16th century (in an earlier sense). From Middle Dutch calant, kalant, caland, early modern Dutch † kalland (Dutch klant) customer, chap, lad, fellow, companion from French regional (northern) caland, variant of Middle French chaland (French chaland) companion, friend, colleague, client, customer, use as noun of the present participle of chaloir to matter, be important, to care.
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