A henchman is a loyal employee, supporter, or aide to some powerful figure engaged in nefarious or criminal enterprises. A henchman is typically relatively unimportant in the organization, a minion, whose value lies primarily in their unquestioning loyalty to their leader. The term henchman is often used derisively (even comically) to refer to an individual of low status who lacks any moral compass of their own.
The term henchman originally referred to one who attended a horse for his employer, that is, a
The first part of the word, which is recorded in English since 1360, comes from the
Young henchmen, in fact
The word became obsolete for grooms in English from the middle of the 17th century, but was retained in Scots as "personal attendant of a Highland chief". It was revived in English by way of the novelist
The modern sense of "obedient or unscrupulous follower" is first recorded 1839, probably based on a misunderstanding of the word as used by Scott, and is often used to describe an out-and-out adherent or partisan, ready to do anything.