A man who has not been married. Probably from baccalaris, “a man employed on a grazing-farm” (Low Latin, bacca, for vacca, a cow). French, bachelier, bachelette (a damsel).
A Bachelor of Arts.
The student who has passed his examination, but is not yet of standing to be a master. Formerly the bachelor was the candidate for examination. The word used to be spelt bachiller
; thus in the Proceedings of the Privy Council
, vol. i. p. 72, we read:—“The king ordered that the bachillers should have reasonable pay for their trouble.”
Froissart styles Richard II le jeune damoisel Richart. The Italian is donzella.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894