The origin of "freelance"


Registered Member
The word "freelance" has always inspired me, although I had no idea why. Now that I'm a freelancer, I thought I'd do a little etymology to learn the origins of this rousing word.

Since I've long been a fan of Sir Walter Scott, I was delighted to find that he's apparently the fellow that coined the term:

"I offered Richard the service of my Free Lances, and he refused them... thanks to the bustling times, a man of action will always find employment." -Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott
I'm not sure if this tidbit will inspire you, but it gets me revved up.
That a person of action will always find employment is a time-tested truism. And while the pen was once mightier than the sword, us "free lances" know that the keyboard is more powerful than the spear.
That's straight from Ivanhoe.