From Middle English companion, from Old French compaignon (modern French compagnon), from Late Latin (nominative singular compāniō, whence French copain), from com- + pānis (literally, with + bread), a word first attested in the Frankish Lex Salica as a calque of a Germanic word, probably Frankish *galaibo, *gahlaibō, from Proto-Germanic *gahlaibô. Compare also Old High German galeipo ("messmate") and Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌷𐌻𐌰𐌹𐌱𐌰 ("messmate"); and, for the semantics, compare Old Armenian ընկեր ("friend"). More at co-, loaf. Displaced native Old English ġefēra.
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