Other Post Origin of the term 'Infantry'


Mi Lieutenant
MI.Net Member
Apr 18, 2005
Ever wondered where the infantry got their name? I've always thought it a strange word and did a wee bit of 'Googling'. There are several schools of thought, one of which is that it is derived from a Spanish Princess, or 'Infanta', who marched at the head of a body of soldiers and won a famous victory.
I preferred another explanation about how it originated, amongst which is:-

'.....it is evident, that although the primary sources of infantry are in the Greek and Latin languages, its modern derivation is from the Italian word fante, which signifies a follower. In the first stages of modern warfare, battles were chiefly fought by cavalry or horsemen ; but in Italy, and afterwards in Spain, the bodies of horse were always attended by a certain number of squires or armed men on foot, who marched in the rear, and assisted their leaders.'

Sounds good enough for me. army;
Still looking into this mate
The following is from the online English Dictionary.



• noun foot soldiers collectively.

— DERIVATIVES infantryman noun.

— ORIGIN Italian infanteria, from infante ‘youth, infantryman’.

Perform another search of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary

Infantry is derivate from a portuguese word.
Since Don Henrique son of the King of Portugal (Porto means harbor, and gal came from galo that also means celt = Portugal, something like celtic port, romans call us that) was a Infante (infante means son of the king, but not the prince first born male , he create changes in the army who fight on foot in front of the enemy, the term was a subsistute for legion, or army.

And as Portugal and England has a long history as an allies kingdoms. The word stuck in the english words as some english word are now used in portuguese dictionary, as archer (arqueiro).

Cavalry means cavalaria. The word came from cavalo that is horse in english.

Hope that heps.

Sorry from my bad english. Cheers everyone.

I am an infantry soldier. The term infantry originaly came about from the greeks. When going in to battle the youngest soldiers were the ones that took the front of the battle formation and were the grunts hints the reason why still today the nickname for a infantrymen and the best way to describe the job is grunt

Similar threads