English from the Old English personal name Hereweald
, its Old Norse equivalent Haraldr
, or the Continental form Herold
introduced to Britain by the Normans. These all go back to a Germanic personal name composed of the elements heri
‘army’ + wald
‘rule’, which is attested in Europe from an early date; the Roman historian Tacitus
records a certain Cariovalda
, chief of the Germanic tribe of the Batavi, as early as the 1st century ad.
English occupational name for a herald, Middle English herau(l)d
(Old French herau(l)t
, from a Germanic compound of the same elements as above, used as a common noun).