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[url] /ɜrl/

a male given name: from the old English word meaning “noble.”.
(in the British Isles) a nobleman ranking below a marquess and above a viscount Female equivalent countess
(in Anglo-Saxon England) a royal governor of any of the large divisions of the kingdom, such as Wessex

Old English eorl “brave man, warrior, leader, chief” (contrasted with ceorl “churl”), from Proto-Germanic *erlo-z, of uncertain origin.

In Anglo-Saxon poetry, “a warrior, a brave man;” in later Old English, “nobleman,” especially a Danish under-king (equivalent of cognate Old Norse jarl), then one of the viceroys under the Danish dynasty in England. After 1066 adopted as the equivalent of Latin comes (see count (n.)).


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