Word Origin & History
word used by a vassal to address his superior or lord in the feudal system, c.1300, from Anglo-Fr. lige (1292), from O.Fr. liege, perhaps from L.L. laeticus "cultivated by serfs," from laetus "serf," which probably is from a Gmc. source (cf. O.E. læt "half-freedman, serf;" O.H.G. laz, O.Fris. lethar
"freedman"). Or the M.E. word may be directly from O.H.G. leidig "free." Hence, liege-man "a vassal sworn to the service and support of a lord, who in turn is obliged to protect him" (c.1350).