One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A supporter or follower of a king, especially a royalist. Also: specifically a supporter of the infant King James VI of Scotland, as opposed to Mary, Queen of Scots, during the civil war in Scotland (1568–73). Now historical.
2In plural With the. Frequently with capital initial(s). (The name of) a company of actors under the patronage of James I of England (James VI of Scotland), for whom William Shakespeare wrote for most of his career. Now historical.
3US. A person who supported the British cause at the time of the American War of Independence (1775–83). Now historical.
4A member of King's College, Cambridge.
5Originally slang. Usually as one word. A silk handkerchief or neckerchief, especially one traditionally worn by costermongers in the 19th cent. Now historical.
6British Army. Now usually as one word. Originally: a member of the King's Regiment (now historical). In later use usually specifically: (a title for) a private soldier in the King's Regiment or (since 2006) the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.
Old English; earliest use found in Letter to Edward the Elder. From the genitive of king + man.
king's man/ˈkɪŋz man/
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