Mid-13c., boie â€śservant, commoner, knave, boy,â€ť of unknown origin. Possibly from Old French embuie â€śone fettered,â€ť from Vulgar Latin *imboiare, from Latin boia â€śleg iron, yoke, leather collar,â€ť from Greek boeiai dorai â€śox hides.â€ť (Words for â€śboyâ€ť double as â€śservant, attendantâ€ť across the Indo-European map â€“ compare Italian ragazzo, French garĂ§on, Greek pais, Middle English knave, Old Church Slavonic otroku â€“ and often it is difficult to say which meaning came first.)
Source : Online Etymology Dictionary
Note: The Online Etymology Dictionary maintains a free-access list of the origins of thousands of English words, a significant proportion of which are unknown
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