a king originally "one who descended from noble birth." The sociological and ideological implications make this a topic of much debate. Finnish kuningas "king," O.C.S. kunegu "prince" (Rus. knyaz, Boh. knez), Lith. kunigas "clergyman" are loans from Gmc. In O.E., used for names of chiefs of Anglian and Saxon tribes or clans, then of the states they founded. Also extended to British and Danish chiefs they fought. The chess piece so called from 1411; the playing card from 1563; use in checkers/draughts first recorded 1820. Applied in nature to species deemed remarkably big or dominant (e.g. king crab, 1698),
"As leon is the king of bestes." [John Gower, "Confessio Amantis," 1390]
Kingfisher (1440) was originally king's fisher, for obscure reasons. Kingdom-come "the next world" (1785) is from the Lord's Prayer. The film "King Kong" was released 1933.