One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The officer in a household who supplied the bread and had charge of the pantry (an office later merged with that of butler); the controller of the bread or food supplies in general in a large establishment, especially a royal court. Formerly also: †a baker (obsolete).
A person who or animal which pants for breath. Also figurative: one who is desperate for, or chases after, something.
Middle English; earliest use found in The Chronicle of Robert of Gloucester. From Anglo-Norman paneter, panetier, pannetier, paintier pantry-man, panter, baker and Old French, Middle French, French panetier, pannetier panter, baker from pain bread + -etier, extended form of -ier (compare Middle French, French † paneter to knead bread, to supply with bread). Compare Old Occitan panatier, panetier, Catalan paneter, Spanish panadero, Italian panettiere, post-classical Latin panaterius, panetarius, paneterius, panitarius baker, officer in charge of the pantry<br>late 17th century (in an earlier sense). From pant + -er.
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