Meanings Lost in Time #5

Freelance

horse-557915_640A term used to describe an individual offering their skills or services on their own behalf. The business world uses the English language as its vehicle for cross continental communications so most people are familiar with this title but what are its origins?

It’s difficult to pin it down to a specific period but some time in the Middle Ages of Europe circa 500 – 1500 AD, when armies were charging about on horseback killing each other with great skill.

A whole range of weaponry was designed specifically for mounted warriors including swords, bows and arrows, spears and God knows what else, all designed to put an end to their opponents as effectively as possible.

They were a bloodthirsty lot our ancestors and if the daily images of warfare currently pouring from our TV screens from Syria and most of the middle east, not to mention Africa and Israel, (have I missed anywhere?) are anything to go by, this generation are not showing any signs of giving it a rest.

Pardon me for running away with myself on this issue.

Back to the original intention of this post:

Wars would come and go and the cavalry would disband at the end of hostilities then canter off to look for more work. Lancers were a common sight and they would put the word out that they were available for employment:

I am a lancer who is free to join another army – a free lance.

An interesting conundrum here: Working on the basis that the pen is mightier than the sword, a freelance journalist is actually an oxymoron. One of my favourite words meaning: a compressed paradox; a figure of speech in which seemingly contradictory terms appear side by side.

 Tune in next Friday to share another Meaning Lost in Time with more juicy titbits thrown in for good measure

About garth

I'm an indie author ardently writing fiction and you’ll notice a leaning towards Egypt. The book in the cooker right now is called The River Through. Hatsepsut features strong as an ancient enigma bringing her people back to pure after a sullying occupation by the Hyksos. I like these desert ancestors who dragged great chunks of stone for miles to build runways for god. Religion was a major preoccupation always. Magic was mixed in, sometimes called miracles. Christian and Hebrew testaments carried it over. Egyptians weren’t bothered with a history list based on sequential record keeping so there are numerous and bewildering gaps. A definite plus for the fiction writer. (Colouring in the spaces.) Bio: I am very tall and many people call me a freak (and laugh) so a slight chip on the shoulder but thick skinned - not impervious. Lots of short people out there who aren’t pleased to be little too. Given the choice, I’d keep length. Upbringing I am thankful because, during my life I have found many people who weren't so blessed so thanks mum and dad for pulling me out of the lucky dip. Two sisters and a brother, all of them cleverer than me or so they think. A wife who loves me - thanks Gill xxxx Two daughters, a yoga teacher and a nurse who don't quite hate me but we are moving in that direction as I tread heavier with advice. Lovely grandchildren who will develop into super beings if they maintain the current progress. A cat called Squeezely who has finally learned to evacuate his bowels outside. Buster the darling dog with a sensitive way and an over-exuberance for affection but we all let him take us down for licking. He's big. Occupation: Education first: Good military school that chased out the bad in me I can tell you. No-one put a polish on a boot better but it was enjoyable in retrospect. Not at the time though. Art college next and enlightenment - the world was a better place afterwards. Self employed antique furniture and restoration - very enjoyable and fulfilling but not overflowing financially. We did okay and we prospered.
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