One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Anglo-Saxon England: a man who rules over a large area or a shire, usually subject to the king. Also used as a title placed immediately before (and in Old English also immediately after) a name.
Old English. Probably cognate with or formed similarly to Old Frisian aldermon head of a district or town, counsellor of an abbot from the Germanic base of alder + the Germanic base of man.
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