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English, Scottish, Dutch, and North German: status name for a
champion, Middle English and Middle Low German kempe. In the
Middle Ages a champion was a professional fighter on behalf of others;
for example the King’s Champion, at the coronation, had the duty of
issuing a general challenge to battle to anyone who denied the king’s
right to the throne. The Middle English word corresponds to Old
English cempa and Old Norse kempa ‘warrior’; both these
go back to Germanic campo ‘warrior’, which is the source of the
Dutch and North German name, corresponding to High German