lance corporal

lance corporal

noun
1.
U.S. Marine Corps. an enlisted person ranking between private first class and corporal.
2.
British Military.
a.
a corporal of the lowest rank.
b.
(formerly) a private acting as corporal without increased pay.

Origin:
1780–90; lance, shortened form of earlier lancepesade < Middle French lancepessade lowest ranking grade of noncommissioned officer < Italian lancia spezzata superior soldier, literally, broken lance1 (from having shivered many lances, i.e., fought well in many battles)

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World English Dictionary
lance corporal
 
n
a noncommissioned officer of the lowest rank in the British Army

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