One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An assistant or junior official.
- ‘The English staff administering this territory seldom exceeds more than five or six officials, to carry out whose orders there exist a company of native clerks and a regiment of understrappers.’
- ‘He is an understrapper; a sort of odd-job freelancer for the British intelligence agency, MI5.’
- ‘Out rushed the members, and away went the strangers, leaving the house deserted by nearly all except the officers and understrappers.’
- ‘Ben, who was Mr Cook's understrapper until yesterday afternoon, marched sombrely down the street.’
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