| Background: The title Lord differs from others in that it does not refer to any special rank but was a form of address expressing loyalty to a superior of gentle birth. It might be used for anyone from the lord of a small manor to 'our sovereign lord the king'.
According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, the etymology of the word can be traced back to the Old English word 'hl?ford' which originated from 'hl?fweard' meaning 'bread keeper' or 'loaf-ward', reflecting the Germanic tribal custom of a superior providing food for his followers. Lady, the female equivalent, originates from a similar structure, believed to have originally meant 'loaf-kneader'.
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