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On 2009-05-08 Andrew Jarrette wrote:
> What do German <webel> and Swedish <väbel> mean?  Does 
> the German word only occur in the compound <Feldwebel>?
> Why choose that compound for the meaning "sergeant"?
> 

I can't answer for German,but in Swedish
_väbel_ only exists as a (colloquial/military
jargon) shortening(?) of _fältväbel_.

/BP