One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A vassal owing allegiance to a great lord and having other vassals under him.
- ‘When at war, his banner was attended by knights, squires, and grooms, vavasours and varlets.’
- ‘In 1133 he was sent by the King to Bayeux, after the death of Bishop Richard, to enquire as to the fees and services due to the see by its barons, knights and vavasours.’
Middle English: from Old French vavas(s)our, from medieval Latin vavassor, perhaps from vassus vassorum ‘vassal of vassals’.
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