Valet and varlet are terms for male
Male refers to the biological sex of an organism, or part of an organism, which produces small mobile gametes, called spermatozoa. Each spermatozoon can fuse with a larger female gamete or ovum, in the process of fertilization...

Domestic worker
A domestic worker is a man, woman or child who works within the employer's household. Domestic workers perform a variety of household services for an individual or a family, from providing care for children and elderly dependents to cleaning and household maintenance, known as housekeeping...

s who serve as personal attendants to their employer.

Word origins

In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, the valet de chambre
Valet de chambre
Valet de chambre , or varlet de chambre, was a court appointment introduced in the late Middle Ages, common from the 14th century onwards. Royal Households had many persons appointed at any time...

 to a ruler was a prestigious appointment for young men. In England however, unlike France, these court roles later came to be called "grooms
Groom of the Chamber
Groom of the Chamber and Groom of the Privy Chamber were positions in the Royal Household of the English monarchy, the latter considerably more elevated. Other Ancien Régime royal establishments in Europe had comparable officers, often with similar titles...


In English, valet as "personal man-servant" is recorded since 1567, though use of the term in the French-speaking English medieval court is older, and the variant form varlet is cited from 1456 (OED). Both are French importations of valet (the t being silent in French) or varlet, Old French variants of vaslet "man's servant," originally "squire, young man," assumed to be from Gallo-Romance *vassellittus "young nobleman, squire, page," diminutive of Medieval Latin vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

, from vassus "servant", possibly cognate to an Old Celtic root wasso- "young man, squire" (source of Welsh gwas "youth, servant," Breton goaz "servant, vassal, man," Irish foss "servant").

See yeoman
Yeoman refers chiefly to a free man owning his own farm, especially from the Elizabethan era to the 17th century. Work requiring a great deal of effort or labor, such as would be done by a yeoman farmer, came to be described as "yeoman's work"...

, possibly derived from yonge man, a related term.

The modern use is usually short for the valet de chambre (French for 'valet of the chamber' - in modern terms the bedroom, though not originally so), described in the following section.

Since the 16th century, the word has traditionally been pronounced as rhyming with pallet, though an alternative pronunciation, rhyming with chalet, as in French, is now common. The Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

lists both pronunciations as valid.

Domestic valet

A valet or gentleman's gentleman is a gentleman's male servant
Domestic worker
A domestic worker is a man, woman or child who works within the employer's household. Domestic workers perform a variety of household services for an individual or a family, from providing care for children and elderly dependents to cleaning and household maintenance, known as housekeeping...

, the closest male equivalent to a lady's maid
Lady's maid
A lady's maid is a female personal attendant who waits on the lady of the house. The position is very similar to a gentleman's valet. Traditionally, in eras past, the lady's maid was not as high-ranking as a lady's companion, who was a retainer rather than a servant, but the rewards included room...


The valet performs personal services such as maintaining his employer's clothes, running his bath and perhaps (especially in the past) shaving his employer.

In a great house
Great house
A great house is a large and stately residence; the term encompasses different styles of dwelling in different countries. The name refers to the makeup of the household rather than to any particular architectural style...

, the master
Master (form of address)
Master is an archaic masculine title or form of address in English.- In English and Welsh society :Master was used in England for men of some rank, especially "free masters" of a trade guild and by any manual worker or servant employee to his employer , but also generally by those lower in status...

 of the house had his own valet, and in the very grandest great houses, other adult members of the employing family (e.g. master's sons) would also have their own valets.

At a court, even minor princes and high officials may be assigned one, but in a smaller household the butler (the majordomo in charge of the household staff) might have to double as his employer's valet. In a bachelor's household the valet might perform light housekeeping
Housekeeper (servant)
A housekeeper is an individual responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the interior of a residence, including direction of subordinate maids...

 duties as well.

Valets learned the skills for their role in various ways. Some began as footmen, learning some relevant skills as part of that job, and picking up others when deputising for their master's valet, or by performing valeting tasks for his sons before they had a valet of their own, or for male guests who did not travel with a valet. Others started out as soldier-servants to army officers (batmen) or stewards
Steward's Assistant
A steward's assistant is an unlicensed, entry-level crewmember in the Steward's department of a merchant ship. This position can also be referred to as steward , galley utilityman, messman, supply or waiter.The role of the SA consists mainly of stocking, cleaning and assisting with the...

 to naval officers.

Traditionally, a valet did much more than merely lay out clothes and take care of personal items. He was also responsible for making travel arrangements, dealing with any bills and handling all money matters concerning his master or his master's household.

Alexandre Bontemps
Alexandre Bontemps
Alexandre Bontemps was the valet of King Louis XIV and a powerful figure at the court of Versailles, respected and feared for his exceptional access to the King...

, the most senior of the thirty-six valets to Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

, was a powerful figure, who ran the Chateau de Versailles. In courts
Noble court
The court of a monarch, or at some periods an important nobleman, is a term for the extended household and all those who regularly attended on the ruler or central figure...

, valet de chambre
Valet de chambre
Valet de chambre , or varlet de chambre, was a court appointment introduced in the late Middle Ages, common from the 14th century onwards. Royal Households had many persons appointed at any time...

 was a position of some status, often given to artists, musicians, poets and others, who generally spent most of their time on their specialized work. The role was also, at least during the late Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and the Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, a common first step or training period in a nobleman's career at court.

Valets, like butlers and most specialized domestic staff, have become relatively rare, and a more common — though still infrequent — arrangement is the general servant performing combined roles.

Famous fictional valets

  • Jeeves
    Reginald Jeeves is a fictional character in the short stories and novels of P. G. Wodehouse, being the valet of Bertie Wooster . Created in 1915, Jeeves would continue to appear in Wodehouse's works until his final, completed, novel Aunts Aren't Gentlemen in 1974, making him Wodehouse's most famous...

    , created in 1915 by P. G. Wodehouse
    P. G. Wodehouse
    Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE was an English humorist, whose body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He enjoyed enormous popular success during a career that lasted more than seventy years and his many writings continue to be...

    , starred in a series of stories until Wodehouse's death in 1975; Reginald Jeeves is considered the "personification of the perfect valet" since 1930, inspired the name of Internet search engine Ask Jeeves, and is now a generic term in dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary
    Oxford English Dictionary
    The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

  • Mervyn Bunter
    Mervyn Bunter
    Mervyn Bunter is a fictional character in Dorothy L. Sayers' novels and short stories featuring Lord Peter Wimsey.- Literary Background :Dorothy L...

    , created in 1923 by Dorothy L. Sayers
    Dorothy L. Sayers
    Dorothy Leigh Sayers was a renowned English crime writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator and Christian humanist. She was also a student of classical and modern languages...

     in the Lord Peter Wimsey
    Lord Peter Wimsey
    Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey is a bon vivant amateur sleuth in a series of detective novels and short stories by Dorothy L. Sayers, in which he solves mysteries; usually, but not always, murders...

     series, likewise a paragon of discreet competence, taking his duties beyond what was expected of a valet to help his master.
  • Alfred Pennyworth
    Alfred Pennyworth
    Alfred Pennyworth is a fictional character that appears throughout the DC Comics franchise. The character first appears in Batman #16 , and was created by writer Bob Kane and artist Jerry Robinson. Alfred serves as Batman’s tireless butler, assistant, confidant, and surrogate father figure...

    , valet to Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman
    Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. A comic book superhero, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics...

    , created by Bob Kane
    Bob Kane
    Bob Kane was an American comic book artist and writer, credited as the creator of the DC Comics superhero Batman...

    . Played by Alan Napier
    Alan Napier
    Alan William Napier-Clavering was an English actor, best known for portraying Alfred Pennyworth in the 1960s live-action Batman television series.-Early life and career:...

     in the 1966 Batman
    Batman (1966 film)
    Batman, often promoted as Batman: The Movie, is a 1966 film based on the Batman television series, and the first full-length theatrical adaptation of the DC Comics character of the same name. Released by 20th Century Fox, the film starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The film was...

    film starring Adam West
    Adam West
    William West Anderson , better known by the stage name Adam West, is an American actor best known for his lead role in the Batman TV series and the film of the same name...

    , Michael Gough
    Michael Gough
    Michael Gough was an English character actor who appeared in over 150 films. He is perhaps best known to international audiences for his roles in the Hammer Horror films from 1958, and for his recurring role as Alfred Pennyworth in all four movies of the Burton/Schumacher Batman franchise,...

     in Batman
    Batman (1989 film)
    Batman is a 1989 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, directed by Tim Burton. The film stars Michael Keaton in the title role, as well as Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl and Jack Palance...

    , Batman Returns
    Batman Returns
    Batman Returns is a 1992 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, it is the sequel to Burton's Batman , and features Michael Keaton reprising the title role, with Danny DeVito as the Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.Burton originally did not...

    , Batman Forever
    Batman Forever
    Batman Forever is a 1995 American superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Tim Burton. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is a sequel to Batman Returns , with Val Kilmer replacing Michael Keaton as Batman...

    and Batman & Robin, and most recently by Michael Caine
    Michael Caine
    Sir Michael Caine, CBE is an English actor. He won Academy Awards for best supporting actor in both Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules ....

     in Batman Begins
    Batman Begins
    Batman Begins is a 2005 American superhero action film based on the fictional DC Comics character Batman, directed by Christopher Nolan. It stars Christian Bale as Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson,...

    and The Dark Knight
    The Dark Knight (film)
    The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

  • Brothers Giles and Nigel French, played by Sebastian Cabot
    Sebastian Cabot (actor)
    Charles Sebastian Thomas Cabot was an English film and television actor, best remembered as the gentleman's gentleman, "Giles French," opposite Brian Keith's character, in the 1960s sitcom Family Affair. He was also known for playing Dr...

     and John Williams
    John Williams (actor)
    John Williams was an English stage, film and television actor. He is remembered for his role as chief inspector Hubbard in Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder, and as portraying the second "Mr...

    , respectively, in the TV series Family Affair
    Family Affair
    Family Affair is an American sitcom that aired on CBS from September 12, 1966 to September 9, 1971. The series explored the trials of well-to-do civil engineer and bachelor Bill Davis as he attempted to raise his brother's orphaned children in his luxury New York City apartment. Davis' traditional...

    (later functioned as the family butler).
  • Hobson (Sir John Gielgud
    John Gielgud
    Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

    ), from the comedy film Arthur (1981).
  • Jerome Benton
    Jerome Benton
    Jerome Benton is an American musical performer, backup dancer and comedic actor. He can be seen in music videos by Janet Jackson and Prince, but he is best known for his association with The Time....

    , the Zoot suit
    Zoot suit
    A zoot suit is a suit with high-waisted, wide-legged, tight-cuffed, pegged trousers, and a long coat with wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. This style of clothing was popularized by African Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Italian Americans during the late 1930s and the 1940s...

    ed valet to Morris Day
    Morris Day
    Morris E. Day is an American musician and composer. He is best known as the lead singer of The Time.-1970s and 1980s:...

     of 80s funk band The Time
    The Time (band)
    The Time is a funk and dance-pop ensemble formed in 1981. They are close Prince associates and arguably the most successful artists who have worked with him.-Prince, Formation and Success:...

  • Kato
    Kato (The Green Hornet)
    Kato is a fictional character from The Green Hornet series. This character has also appeared with the Green Hornet in film, television, book and comic book versions. Kato was the Hornet's assistant and has been played by a number of actors...

    , valet and sidekick
    A sidekick is a close companion who is generally regarded as subordinate to the one he accompanies. Some well-known fictional sidekicks are Don Quixote's Sancho Panza, Sherlock Holmes' Doctor Watson, The Lone Ranger's Tonto, The Green Hornet's Kato and Batman's Robin.-Origins:The origin of the...

     to Britt Reid a.k.a. The Green Hornet
    The Green Hornet
    The Green Hornet is an American radio and television masked vigilante created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, with input from radio director James Jewell, in 1936. Since his radio debut in the 1930s, the Green Hornet has appeared in numerous serialized dramas in a wide variety of media...

  • Kato, Inspector Clouseau
    Inspector Clouseau
    Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau is a fictional character in Blake Edwards' The Pink Panther series. In most of the films, he was played by Peter Sellers, with one film in which he was played by Alan Arkin and one in which he was played by an uncredited Roger Moore...

    's valet and martial arts partner in the Pink Panther
    The Pink Panther
    The Pink Panther is a series of comedy films featuring the bungling French police detective Jacques Clouseau that began in 1963 with the release of the film of the same name. The role was originated by, and is most closely associated with, Peter Sellers...

  • Passepartout
    Passepartout (character)
    Jean Passepartout is a character in Jules Verne's novel, Around the World in Eighty Days. He is the French valet to the novel's English protagonist, Phileas Fogg...

    , in the 1872 novel Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
    Jules Verne
    Jules Gabriel Verne was a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , A Journey to the Center of the Earth , and Around the World in Eighty Days...

  • Georges, created by Agatha Christie
    Agatha Christie
    Dame Agatha Christie DBE was a British crime writer of novels, short stories, and plays. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections , and her successful West End plays.According to...

     in the Hercule Poirot
    Hercule Poirot
    Hercule Poirot is a fictional Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie. Along with Miss Marple, Poirot is one of Christie's most famous and long-lived characters, appearing in 33 novels and 51 short stories published between 1920 and 1975 and set in the same era.Poirot has been portrayed on...

  • Edward Henry Masterman, the victim's valet and a suspect in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express
    Murder on the Orient Express
    Murder on the Orient Express is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie featuring the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.It was first published in the United Kingdom by the Collins Crime Club on January 1, 1934 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company later in the same year under the title of...

  • Figaro
    The Marriage of Figaro (play)
    The Marriage of Figaro ) is a comedy in five acts, written in 1778 by Pierre Beaumarchais. This play is the second installment in the Figaro Trilogy, preceded by The Barber of Seville and followed by The Guilty Mother. The Barber begins the story with a simple love triangle in which the Count has...

    , the Count of Almaviva's valet from Beaumarchais' play The Marriage of Figaro
    The Marriage of Figaro
    Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata , K. 492, is an opera buffa composed in 1786 in four acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais, La folle journée, ou le Mariage de Figaro .Although the play by...

    , as well as the Mozart and Rossini operas based on it.
  • Leporello, valet of Don Giovanni
    Don Giovanni
    Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the Teatro di Praga on October 29, 1787...

     in the opera by Mozart.
  • Spicer Lovejoy (David Warner
    David Warner (actor)
    David Warner is an English actor who is known for playing both romantic leads and sinister or villainous characters, both in film and animation...

    ), valet and bodyguard to Caledon Hockley in the film Titanic
    Titanic (1997 film)
    Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

  • La Fleche, Cleante's valet in the Miser
    The Miser
    L'Avare is a 1668 five-act satirical comedy by French playwright Molière. Its title is usually translated as The Miser when the play is performed in English....

  • Saturnin, valet in the novel and movie Saturnin written by Zdeněk Jirotka
    Zdenek Jirotka
    Zdeněk Jirotka was a Czech writer of radio-broadcast plays and author of humorous novels, short stories, and feuilletons. He was born in Ostrava , sat for the leaving examination at the secondary industrial school in Hradec Králové in 1933 and then joined the Army where he served until 1940...

  • Mr. Probert (Derek Jacobi
    Derek Jacobi
    Sir Derek George Jacobi, CBE is an English actor and film director.A "forceful, commanding stage presence", Jacobi has enjoyed a highly successful stage career, appearing in such stage productions as Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, and Oedipus the King. He received a Tony Award for his performance in...

    ), valet to Sir William McCordle (Michael Gambon
    Michael Gambon
    Sir Michael John Gambon, CBE is an Irish actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. A highly respected theatre actor, Gambon is recognised for his roles as Philip Marlowe in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, as Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and as...

    ), and Robert Parks (Clive Owen
    Clive Owen
    Clive Owen is an English actor, who has worked on television, stage and film. He first gained recognition in the United Kingdom for portraying the lead in the ITV series Chancer from 1990 to 1991...

    ), valet to Lord Stockbridge (Charles Dance
    Charles Dance
    Walter Charles Dance, OBE is an English actor, screenwriter and director. Dance typically plays assertive bureaucrats or villains. His most famous roles are Guy Perron in The Jewel in the Crown , Dr Clemens, the doctor of penitentiary Fury 161, who becomes Ellen Ripley's confidante in Alien 3 ,...

    ), in the 2001 film Gosford Park
    Gosford Park
    Gosford Park is a 2001 British-American mystery comedy-drama film directed by Robert Altman and written by Julian Fellowes. The film stars an ensemble cast, which includes Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Eileen Atkins, Alan Bates, and Michael Gambon...

    , directed by Robert Altman
    Robert Altman
    Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director and screenwriter known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his body of work with an Academy Honorary Award.His films MASH , McCabe and...

  • Fonzworth Bentley
    Fonzworth Bentley
    Derrick Watkins, in Atlanta, Georgia and popularly known as Fonzworth Bentley or Farnsworth Bentley, is a musician and author. He is perhaps best known for being Sean Combs' former personal valet and assistant, as first seen in Making the Band 2, and is currently the host of MTV's From G's to Gents...

    , the alterego of Derek Watkins, a valet to Sean "Diddy" Combs.
  • Mr. Belvedere
    Mr. Belvedere
    Mr. Belvedere is an American sitcom that originally aired on ABC from March 15, 1985, until July 8, 1990. The series was based on the Lynn Aloysius Belvedere character created by Gwen Davenport for her 1947 novel Belvedere, which was later adapted into the 1948 film Sitting Pretty...

    , movie and television show starring Christopher Hewitt and Bob Uecker
    Bob Uecker
    Robert George "Bob" Uecker is an American former Major League Baseball player, later a sportscaster, comedian, and actor. Uecker was given the title of "Mr. Baseball" by Johnny Carson...

  • Baptistin, in The Count of Monte Cristo
    The Count of Monte Cristo
    The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas. It is often considered to be, along with The Three Musketeers, Dumas's most popular work. He completed the work in 1844...

    by Alexandre Dumas.
  • Pork, Gerald O'Hara's valet in Gone With the Wind
    Gone with the Wind
    The slaves depicted in Gone with the Wind are primarily loyal house servants, such as Mammy, Pork and Uncle Peter, and these slaves stay on with their masters even after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 sets them free...

  • The Valet, an unnamed Valet in the play No Exit
    No Exit
    No Exit is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. The original French title is Huis Clos, the French equivalent of the legal term in camera, referring to a private discussion behind closed doors; English translations have also been performed under the titles In Camera, No Way Out...

     by Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Sartre
    Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

  • Smerdyakov, the murderous valet to Fyodor Pavlovitch in "The Brothers Karamazov
    The Brothers Karamazov
    The Brothers Karamazov is the final novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Dostoyevsky spent nearly two years writing The Brothers Karamazov, which was published as a serial in The Russian Messenger and completed in November 1880...

    " by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
  • Desmond, a reformed burglar and manservant to Rip Kirby
    Rip Kirby
    Rip Kirby was a popular comic strip featuring the adventures of the eponymous lead character, a private detective created by Alex Raymond in 1946...

    , a detective from the eponymous comic strip
    Comic strip
    A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

     created by Alex Raymond
    Alex Raymond
    Alexander Gillespie "Alex" Raymond was an American cartoonist, best known for creating Flash Gordon for King Features in 1934...

  • Smithers, Veronica Lodge
    Veronica Lodge
    Veronica Lodge is a fictional character in the Archie Comics books series.-Fictional history and character:She is called both by her name Veronica and her nickname Ronnie...

    's fictional butler.
  • Butler, ostensibly butler but in fact valet and bodyguard
    A bodyguard is a type of security operative or government agent who protects a person—usually a famous, wealthy, or politically important figure—from assault, kidnapping, assassination, stalking, loss of confidential information, terrorist attack or other threats.Most important public figures such...

     to Artemis Fowl II
    Artemis Fowl II
    Artemis Fowl II is the antihero and main character of the fictional series Artemis Fowl by the Irish author Eoin Colfer.- Origins :Colfer has said that he based Artemis on his younger brother Donal, who as a child was "a mischievous mastermind who could get out of any trouble he got into"...

  • Rochester Van Jones, played on radio and television by Eddie Anderson
    Eddie Anderson (comedian)
    Edmund Lincoln Anderson , also known as Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, was an American comedian and actor. His most famous role was that of Rochester van Jones, valet of Jack Benny, on his radio and television shows.-Early life:Anderson was born in Oakland, California...

     on the Jack Benny Show
    Jack Benny
    Jack Benny was an American comedian, vaudevillian, and actor for radio, television, and film...

  • Chunjin, nefarious valet to Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate
    The Manchurian Candidate
    The Manchurian Candidate , by Richard Condon, is a political thriller novel about the son of a prominent US political family who is brainwashed into being an unwitting assassin for the Communist Party....

  • Pagoda (Kumar Pallana
    Kumar Pallana
    Kumar Valavhadas Pallana is an Indian character actor and vaudevillian.He performed on the Mickey Mouse Club as a plate spinner and juggler....

    ), valet and confidant of Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman
    Gene Hackman
    Eugene Allen "Gene" Hackman is an American actor and novelist.Nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two, Hackman has also won three Golden Globes and two BAFTAs in a career that spanned five decades. He first came to fame in 1967 with his performance as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde...

    ) in the film The Royal Tenenbaums
    The Royal Tenenbaums
    The Royal Tenenbaums is a 2001 American comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson and co-written with Owen Wilson. The film stars Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston, with Danny Glover, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, and Owen Wilson....

  • John Bates (Brendan Coyle
    Brendan Coyle
    -Early life and family:Coyle was born in Corby, Northamptonshire, to an Irish father and Scottish mother; his parents moved to Corby from Strabane, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Coyle holds Irish and British citizenship. He is the great nephew of football manager Sir Matt Busby...

    ), valet to Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville
    Hugh Bonneville
    Hugh Richard Bonneville Williams, known professionally as Hugh Bonneville , is an English stage, film, television and radio actor.-Education:...

    ), is a prominently featured character in the British period drama Downton Abbey
    Downton Abbey
    Downton Abbey is a British television period drama series, produced by NBC Universal-owned British media company Carnival Films for the ITV network. The series is set during the late Edwardian era and the First World War on the fictional estate of Downton Abbey in Yorkshire, and features an...


Other valets

Valet is also used for people performing specific services:
  • hotel
    A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms...

     valet — an employee who performs personal services for guests.
  • parking valet
    Valet parking
    Valet parking is a parking service offered by some restaurants, stores, and other businesses, particularly in North America. In contrast to "self-parking", where customers find a parking space on their own, customers' vehicles are parked for them by a person called a valet...

     – a service employee who parks cars for guests, only from 1960.
  • car valet — an employee who is paid to clean people's cars professionally.
  • valet
    Manager (professional wrestling)
    In professional wrestling, a manager is a secondary character paired with a wrestler for a variety of reasons. The manager is often either a non-wrestler, an occasional wrestler, an older wrestler who has retired or is nearing retirement or, in some cases, a new wrestler who is breaking into the...

     — a professional wrestling
    Professional wrestling
    Professional wrestling is a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance.Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling", Mythologies, 1957 It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport...

     term for a person who accompanies a wrestler to the ring.

Other forms of valet-like personnel include:
  • Batman
    Batman (army)
    A batman is a soldier or airman assigned to a commissioned officer as a personal servant.The term is derived from the obsolete bat, "packsaddle" + man....

  • Bedder
    The term "bedder" is short for "bedmaker" and is a housekeeper in a college of the University of Cambridge and the University of Durham. The equivalent at the University of Oxford is known as a "scout"...

  • Dresser

Clothes valet

Clothes valets are also referred to as a men's valet. A majority are free standing and made out of wood.


While in French this word remained restricted to the feudal use for a (knight's) squire
The English word squire is a shortened version of the word Esquire, from the Old French , itself derived from the Late Latin , in medieval or Old English a scutifer. The Classical Latin equivalent was , "arms bearer"...

, in modern English it came to be used for the various other male servants originally called va(r)let other than the gentleman's gentleman, when in livery
A livery is a uniform, insignia or symbol adorning, in a non-military context, a person, an object or a vehicle that denotes a relationship between the wearer of the livery and an individual or corporate body. Often, elements of the heraldry relating to the individual or corporate body feature in...

 usually called lackey, such as the valet de pied ('foot varlet', compare footman
A footman is a male servant, notably as domestic staff.-Word history:The name derives from the attendants who ran beside or behind the carriages of aristocrats, many of whom were chosen for their physical attributes. They ran alongside the coach to make sure it was not overturned by such obstacles...

). In archaic
In language, an archaism is the use of a form of speech or writing that is no longer current. This can either be done deliberately or as part of a specific jargon or formula...

 English, varlet also could mean an unprincipled person; a rogue.

See also

  • Batman (military)
  • Personal assistant
    Personal assistant
    A personal assistant or personal aide is someone who assists in daily business or personal tasks. It is common in design to have a PDA, or personal design assistant....

  • Majordomo
  • Valet boy
    Valet boy
    Valet boy is a term used in some countries to refer to young people who ask for fees to park at the roadside. Valet boys usually work in groups, and demand an RM 1-5 "parking fee" from car owners, under an agreement that they will protect the car. It is these very same valets, however, who do the...

  • Jack
    Jack (playing card)
    A Jack, also Knave, is a playing card with a picture of a man on it. The usual rank of a jack, within its suit, is as if it were an 11 ....

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