The term gentleman (from Latin gentilis, belonging to a race or "gens", and "man", cognate with the French word gentilhomme and the Italian gentil uomo or gentiluomo), in its original and strict signification, denoted a man of good family, analogous to the Latin generosus (its invariable translation in English-Latin documents). Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. Cognates in Linguistics are words that have a common origin They may occur within a language such as shirt and skirt as two English words descended from French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people Italian ( or lingua italiana) is a Romance language spoken by about 63 million people as a First language, primarily in Italy. Family denotes a group of People affiliated by consanguinity affinity or co-residence In this sense the word equates with the French gentilhomme (nobleman), which latter term was in Great Britain long confined to the peerage. See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands The Peerage is a system of Titles of Nobility in the United Kingdom, part of the British honours system. The term "gentry" (from the Old French genterise for gentelise) has much of the social class significance of the French noblesse or of the German Adel, but without the strict technical requirements of those traditions (such as quarters of nobility). Gentry generally refers to people of high Social class, especially in the past The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. This was what the rebels under John Ball in the 14th century meant when they repeated:
John Selden in Titles of Honour, (1614), discussing the title "gentleman", speaks of "our English use of it" as "convertible with nobilis" (an ambiguous word, like 'noble' meaning elevated either by rank or by personal qualities) and describes in connection with it the forms of ennobling in various European countries. John Ball (c 1338 - 15 July 1381) was an English Lollard priest who took a prominent part in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. Adam (אָדָם ʼĀḏām, "dust man mankind" آدم; Ge'ez: አዳ and Eve (חַוָּה Ḥawwā, "living Adam (אָדָם ʼĀḏām, "dust man mankind" آدم; Ge'ez: አዳ and Eve (חַוָּה Ḥawwā, "living John Ball (c 1338 - 15 July 1381) was an English Lollard priest who took a prominent part in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. John Selden ( December 16, 1584 &ndash November 30, 1654) was an English Jurist, scholar of England's ancient laws
To a degree, "gentleman" signified a man with an income derived from property, a legacy or some other source, and was thus independently wealthy and did not need to work. The term was particularly used of those who could not claim nobility or even the rank of esquire. Esquire (abbreviated Esq) is a term of British origin originally used to denote social status Widening further, it became a politeness for all men, as in the phrase "Ladies and Gentlemen,. . . " and this was then used (often with the abbreviation Gents) to indicate where men could find a lavatory, without the need to indicate precisely what was being described. A toilet is a Plumbing fixture and disposal system primarily intended for the disposal of the bodily wastes: Urine and fecal matter.
In modern speech, the term is usually democratised so as to include any man of good, courteous conduct, or even to all men (as in indications of gender-separated facilities).
Chaucer in the Meliboeus (circa 1386) says: "Certes he sholde not be called a gentil man, that . Geoffrey Chaucer (c 1343 – 25 October 1400? was an English author poet Philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and Diplomat. . . ne dooth his diligence and bisynesse, to kepen his good name"; and in The Wife of Bath's Tale:
And in the Romance of the Rose (circa 1400) we find: "he is gentil bycause he doth as longeth to a gentilman". " The Wife of Bath's Tale " and its Prologue are among the best-known of Geoffrey Chaucer 's Canterbury Tales.
This use develops through the centuries, until in 1714 we have Steele, in Tatler (No. This is about Richard Steele Irish writer and politician for others see Richard Steele (disambiguation page Tatler is a British magazine published by Condé Nast Publications. 207), laying down that "the appellation of Gentleman is never to be affixed to a man's circumstances, but to his Behaviour in them", a limitation over-narrow even for the present day. In this connection, too, one may quote the old story, told by some—very improbably—of James II, of the monarch who replied to a lady petitioning him to make her son a gentleman, "I could make him a nobleman, but God Almighty could not make him a gentleman". James II of England and Ireland James VII of Scotland (14 October 1633 &ndash 16 September 1701 was King of England, King of Scots, Later that same year James
Selden, however, in referring to similar stories "that no Charter can make a Gentleman, which is cited as out of the mouth of some great Princes that have said it", adds that "they without question understood Gentleman for Generosus in the antient sense, or as if it came from Genii/is in that sense, as Gentilis denotes one of a noble Family, or indeed for a Gentleman by birth". For "no creation could make a man of another blood than he is".
The word "gentleman", used in the wide sense with which birth and circumstances have nothing to do, is necessarily incapable of strict definition. For "to behave like a gentleman" may mean little or much, according to the person by whom the phrase is used; "to spend money like a gentleman" may even be no great praise; but "to conduct a business like a gentleman" implies a high standard. A business (also called firm or an enterprise) is a legally recognized organizational entity designed to provide goods and/or services to
William Harrison, writing a century earlier, says "gentlemen be those whom their race and blood, or at the least their virtues, do make noble and known". William Harrison may refer to William Harrison (clergyman (1534–1593 William Harrison (Catholic clergyman (1553–1621 Virtue ( Latin virtus; Greek) is moral Excellence. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting individual A gentleman was in his time usually expected to have a coat of arms, it being accepted that only a gentleman could have a coat of arms; and Harrison gives the following account of how gentlemen were made in Shakespeare's day:
In this way Shakespeare himself was demonstrated, by the grant of his coat of arms, to be no "vagabond" but a gentleman. William Shakespeare ( baptised The inseparability of arms and gentility is shown by two of his characters:
However, although only a gentleman could have a coat of arms (so that possession of a coat of arms was proof of gentility), the coat of arms recognised rather than created the status (see G D Squibb The High Court of Chivalry at pp 170-177). Thus, all armigers were gentlemen, but not all gentlemen were armigers. Armiger may also refer to the AGM Armiger anti-radiation missile Hence Henry V, act IV, scene iii:
The fundamental idea of "gentry", symbolised in this grant of coat-armour, had come to be that of the essential superiority of the fighting man; and, as Selden points out (page 707), the fiction was usually maintained in the granting of arms "to an ennobled person though of the long Robe wherein he hath little use of them as they mean a shield".
At the last the wearing of a sword on all occasions was the outward and visible sign of a "gentleman"; the custom survives in the sword worn with "court dress". See also Court dress Court dress On formal royal occasions in monarchies the dress worn by those present has in the past been prescribed
A suggestion that a gentleman must have a coat of arms was vigorously advanced by certain 19th and 20th century heraldists, notably Arthur Charles Fox-Davies in England and Thomas Innes of Learney in Scotland. A coat of arms or armorial bearings (often just arms for short in European tradition is a design belonging to a particular person (or group of people Arthur Charles Fox-Davies ( 28 February 1871 &ndash 19 May 1928) was a British author on Heraldry. Sir Thomas Innes of Learney, GCVO, WS (1893-1971 was Lord Lyon from 1945 to 1969 after having been Carrick Pursuivant and Albany But the suggestion is discredited by an examination, in England, of the records of the High Court of Chivalry and, in Scotland, by a judgment of the Court of Session (per Lord Mackay in Maclean of Ardgour v. Her Majesty's High Court of Chivalry of England and Wales is a Civil court in England. The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland. It is both a Court of first instance and a court of Appeal and sits exclusively Maclean  SC 613 at 650). The significance of a right to a coat of arms was that it was definitive proof of the status of gentleman, but it recognised rather than conferred such a status and the status could be and frequently was accepted without a right to a coat of arms.
The Far East also held similar ideas to the West of what a "gentleman" is, which are based on Confucian principles. Confucianism ( is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of the fifth century B The term "Jūnzǐ" (君子) is a term crucial to classical Confucianism. Literally meaning "son of a ruler", "prince" or "noble", the ideal of a "gentleman", "proper man", "exemplary person" or "perfect man" is that for which Confucianism exhorts all people to strive. A succinct description of the "perfect man" is one who "combine[s] the qualities of saint, scholar, and gentleman" (CE). The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to today as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language Encyclopedia published by The Encyclopedia (In modern times, the masculine bias in Confucianism may have weakened, but the same term is still used; the masculine translation in English is also traditional and still frequently used. ) A hereditary elitism was bound up with the concept, and gentlemen were expected to act as moral guides to the rest of society. They were to:
The great exemplar of the perfect gentleman is Confucius himself. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of his life was that he was never awarded the high official position which he desired, from which he wished to demonstrate the general well-being that would ensue if humane persons ruled and administered the state.
The opposite of the Jūnzǐ was the Xiǎorén (小人), literally "small person" or "petty person. " Like English "small", the word in this context in Chinese can mean petty in mind and heart, narrowly self-interested, greedy, superficial, and materialistic.
That a distinct order of "gentry" existed in England very early has, indeed, been often assumed, and is supported by weighty authorities. Gentry generally refers to people of high Social class, especially in the past Thus the late Professor Freeman (in Encyclopædia Britannica xvii. The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general English-language encyclopaedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc page 540 b, 9th edition) said: "Early in the 11th century the order of 'gentlemen' as a separate class seems to be forming as something new. By the time of the conquest of England the distinction seems to have been fully established". Stubbs (Const. Hist. , ed. 1878, iii. 544, 548) takes the same view. Sir George Sitwell, however, has suggested that this opinion is based on a wrong conception of the conditions of medieval society, and that it is wholly opposed to the documentary evidence. Sir George Reresby Sitwell 4th Baronet, ( London, 17 January 1860 &ndash Locarno, 9 July 1943) succeeded his father as
The fundamental social cleavage in the Middle Ages was between the nobiles, i. e. the tenants in chivalry, whether earls, barons, knights, esquires or franklins, and the ignobiles, i. Chivalric order Chivalry is a term related to the Medieval institution of Knighthood. Earl was the Anglo-Saxon form and jarl the Scandinavian form of a title meaning " Chieftain " and referring especially to chieftains Baron is a specific Title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin (liber Knight is the English term for a social position originating in the Middle Ages. Esquire (abbreviated Esq) is a term of British origin originally used to denote social status The term franklin denotes a member of a Social class or rank in England in the 12th to 15th centuries e. the villeins, citizens and burgesses; and between the most powerful noble and the humblest franklin there was, until the 15th century, no "separate class of gentlemen". Burgess is an English word that originally meant a freeman of a Borough or Burgh. Even so late as 1400 the word "gentleman" still only had the sense of generosus, and could not be used as a personal description denoting rank or quality, or as the title of a class. Yet after 1413 we find it increasingly so used; and the list of landowners in 1431, printed in Feudal Aids, contains, besides knights, esquires, yeomen and husbandmen (i. Yeoman is noun used to indicate a variety of positions or Social classes In the 16th century a yeoman was also a Farmer of middling social status who owned e. householders), a fair number who are classed as "gentilman".
Sir Charles Mainegra gives a lucid, instructive and occasionally amusing explanation of this development. The immediate cause was the statute I Henry V. cap. v. of 413, which laid down that in all original writs of action, personal appeals and indictments, in which process of outlawry lies, the "estate degree or mystery" of the defendant must be stated, as well as his present or former domicile. An outlaw or bandit is a person living the lifestyle of outlawry; the word literally means "outside the Law " by folk-etymology from the original Now the Black Death (1349) had put the traditional social organization out of gear. The Black Death, or the Black Plague, was one of the deadliest Pandemics in human history widely thought to have been caused by a bacterium named Yersinia Before that the younger sons of the nobles had received their share of the farm stock, bought or hired land, and settled down as agriculturists in their native villages. Under the new conditions this became increasingly impossible, and they were forced to seek their fortunes abroad in the French wars, or at home as hangers-on of the great nobles. The Hundred Years' War (Guerre de Cent Ans was a prolonged conflict lasting from 1337 to 1453 between two royal houses for the French throne vacant with the extinction of the senior These men, under the old system, had no definite status; but they were generosi, men of birth, and, being now forced to describe themselves, they disdained to be classed with franklins (now sinking in the social scale), still more with yeomen or husbandmen; they chose, therefore, to be described as "gentlemen".
On the character of these earliest "gentlemen" the records throw a lurid light. Sir Charles Mainegra (p. 76), describes a man typical of his class, one who had served among the men-at-arms of Lord Talbot at the Battle of Agincourt:
If any earlier claimant to the title of "gentleman" be discovered, Sir George Sitwell predicts that it will be within the same year (1414) and in connection with some similar disreputable proceedings.
From these unpromising beginnings the separate order of "gentlemen" evolved very slowly. The first "gentleman" commemorated on an existing monument was John Daundelyon of Margate (died circa 1445); the first gentleman to enter the House of Commons, hitherto composed mainly of "valets", was William Weston, "gentylman"; but even in the latter half of the 15th century the order was not clearly established. Margate is a Seaside resort town within the Thanet district of East Kent, England. The House of Commons' is the Lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords William Pritchard Weston (1804 &ndash 21 February, 1888) was the third Premier of Tasmania. As to the connection of gentilesse with the official grant or recognition of coat-armour, that is a profitable fiction invented and upheld by the heralds; for coat-armour was but the badge assumed by gentlemen to distinguish them in battle, and many gentlemen of long descent never had occasion to assume it, and never did. A herald, or more correctly a herald of arms, is an officer of arms, ranking between Pursuivant and King of arms.
This fiction, however, had its effect; and by the 16th century, as has been already pointed out, the official view had become clearly established that "gentlemen" constituted a distinct social order, and that the badge of this distinction was the heralds' recognition of the right to bear arms. A herald, or more correctly a herald of arms, is an officer of arms, ranking between Pursuivant and King of arms. However, some undoubtedly "gentle" families of long descent never obtained official rights to bear a coat of arms, the family of Strickland being an example, which caused some consternation when Lord Strickland applied to join the Order of Malta in 1926 and could prove no right to a coat of arms, although his direct male ancestor had carried the English royal banner of St George at the Battle of Agincourt. The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta (known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta ( SMOM) Order of Malta The Battle of Agincourt was an English victory against a larger French army in the Hundred Years' War.
In this narrow sense, however, the word "gentleman" has long since become obsolete. The idea of "gentry" in the continental sense of noblesse is extinct in England, and is likely to remain so, in spite of the efforts of certain enthusiasts to revive it (see A. C. Fox-Davies, Armorial Families, Edinburgh, 1895). That it once existed has been sufficiently shown; but the whole spirit and tendency of English constitutional and social development tended to its early destruction. The comparative good order of England was not favourable to the continuance of a class developed during the foreign and civil wars of the 14th and 15th centuries, for whom fighting was the sole honourable occupation. A civil war is a War between a State and domestic political actors that are in control of some part of the territory claimed by the state Honor or Honour (see spelling differences) (the latter directly from the Latin word honos honoris) is the evaluation of a person's The younger sons of noble families became apprentices in the cities, and there grew up a new aristocracy of trade. Apprenticeship is a system of Training a new generation of practitioners of a skill Aristocracy is a form of Government, where rule is established through an internal struggle over who has the most status and influence over society and internal relations Trade is the willing exchange of goods, services, or both Trade is also called Commerce. Merchants are still "citizens" to William Harrison; but he adds "they often change estate with gentlemen, as gentlemen do with them, by a mutual conversion of the one into the other".
A frontier line between classes so indefinite could not be maintained in some societies such as England where there was never a "nobiliary prefix" to stamp a person as a gentleman, as opposed to France or Germany. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. The process was hastened, moreover, by the corruption of the Heralds' College and by the ease with which coats of arms could be assumed without a shadow of claim; which tended to bring the science of armory into contempt. The College of Arms, or Heralds' College, is an office regulating Heraldry and granting new Armorial bearings for England, Wales
The prefix "de" attached to some English names is in no sense "nobiliary". In Latin documents de was the equivalent of the English "of", as de la for "at" (so de la Pole for "Atte Poole"; compare such names as "Attwood" or "Attwater"). In English this "of" disappeared during the 15th century: for example the grandson of Johannes de Stoke (John of Stoke) in a 14th-century document becomes "John Stoke". In modern times, under the influence of romanticism, the prefix "de" has been in some cases "revived" under a misconception, e. Romanticism is a complex artistic literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe, and gained strength during the g. "de Trafford", "de Hoghton". Very rarely it is correctly retained as derived from a foreign place-name, e. g. "de Grey".
At several monarchs' courts, various functions bear titles containing such rank designations as gentleman (suggesting it is to be filled by a member of the lower nobility, or a commoner who will be ennobled, while the highest posts are often reserved for the higher nobility). In English, the terms for the English/Scottish/British court (equivalents may include Lady for women, Page for young men) include:
In France, gentilhomme *
In Spain, e. Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. g. Gentilhombre de la casa del príncipe 'gentleman of the house[hold] of the prince'
Such positions can occur in the household of a non-member of a ruling family, such as a prince of the church:
The word "gentleman" as an index of rank had already become of doubtful value before the great political and social changes of the 19th century gave to it a wider and essentially higher significance. The term gentleman (from Latin gentilis, belonging to a race or "gens" and "man" Cognate with the French word gentilhomme The term Prince of the Church is nowadays used nearly exclusively for Catholic Cardinals However the term is historically more important as a generic term for clergymen The Gentiluomo of the Archbishop of Westminster, in the Roman Catholic Church of the United Kingdom, was a bodyguard (compare the royal Gentleman at The change is well illustrated in the definitions given in the successive editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica. The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general English-language encyclopaedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc In the 5th edition (1815) "a gentleman is one, who without any title, bears a coat of arms, or whose ancestors have been freemen". A coat of arms or armorial bearings (often just arms for short in European tradition is a design belonging to a particular person (or group of people In the 7th edition (1845) it still implies a definite social status: "All above the rank of yeomen". Yeoman is noun used to indicate a variety of positions or Social classes In the 16th century a yeoman was also a Farmer of middling social status who owned In the 8th edition (1856) this is still its "most extended sense"; "in a more limited sense" it is defined in the same words as those quoted above from the 5th edition; but the writer adds, "By courtesy this title is generally accorded to all persons above the rank of common tradesmen when their manners are indicative of a certain amount of refinement and intelligence".
The Reform Act 1832 did its work; the "middle classes" came into their own; and the word "gentleman" came in common use to signify not a distinction of blood, but a distinction of position, education and manners. The Representation of the People Act 1832, commonly known as the Reform Act 1832, was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system The middle class, in colloquial usage consists of those who have some economic independence but not a great deal of social Influence or power. Education encompasses both the Teaching and Learning of Knowledge, proper conduct, and technical competency In Sociology, manners are the unenforced standards of conduct which show the actor to be Cultured Polite, and refined
By this usage, the test is no longer good birth, or the right to bear arms, but the capacity to mingle on equal terms in good society.
In its best use, moreover, "gentleman" involves a certain superior standard of conduct, due, to quote the 8th edition once more, to "that self-respect and intellectual refinement which manifest themselves in unrestrained yet delicate manners". The word "gentle", originally implying a certain social status, had very early come to be associated with the standard of manners expected from that status. Thus by a sort of punning process the "gentleman" becomes a "gentle-man".
In another sense, being a gentleman means treating others, especially women, in a respectful manner, and not taking advantage or pushing others into doing things they choose not to do. The exception, of course, is to push one into something they need to do for their own good, as in a visit to the hospital, or pursuing a dream one has suppressed.
In some cases its meaning becomes twisted through misguided efforts to avoid offending anyone; a news report of a riot may refer to a "gentleman" trying to smash a window with a dustbin in order to loot a store. Similar use (notably between quotation marks or in an appropriate tone) may also be deliberate irony. Quotation marks or inverted commas (informally referred to as quotes and speech marks) are Punctuation marks used in pairs to set off speech Irony is a literary or Rhetorical device, in which there is an incongruity or Discordance between what one says or does and what one means or
Another modern usage of gentleman- is as a prefix to another term to imply that a man has sufficient wealth and free time to pursue an area of interest without depending on it for his livelihood. Examples include gentleman scientist, gentleman farmer, gentleman architect, and gentleman pirate. A gentleman scientist is a Scientist with a Private income who can pursue Scientific study independently as he wishes without excessive external financial Armchair architecture is generally any architectural design prepared by a person who is interested in architecture but is not a professional architect Stede Bonnet (c 1688 – December 10 1718 was an early 18th-century Barbadian pirate, sometimes called "the gentleman pirate" because he was a moderately