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English: nickname from the vocabulary word lord, presumably for someone who behaved in a lordly manner, or perhaps one who had earned the title in some contest of skill or had played the part of the ‘Lord of Misrule’ in the Yuletide festivities. It may also have been an occupational name for a servant in the household of the lord of the manor, or possibly a status name for a landlord or the lord of the manor himself. The word itself derives from Old English hlaford, earlier hlaf-weard, literally ‘loaf-keeper’, since the lord or chief of a clan was responsible for providing food for his dependants.