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Re: claymores

Poster: Matthew Allen Newsome <mnewsome@warren-wilson.edu>

On Tue, 10 Dec 1996, Dan Mackison wrote:

> You bring up an interesting point for in fact you have two questions.
> 1) When did the Scots begin using two handed swords?
> 2) When did they start calling them claymores?
> 	One item I find quite often is the use of the same pattern or idea in
> two places and in two times in history. Occasionally, it is possible to
> show how the pattern travelled. Occasionally, its a case of two groups
> of people coming up with the same idea independently.
> 	In either case, the people involved use their own name.

The origin for the word "claymore" is the Gaelic claidheam-mor.  
Literally, this means "big sword."  I think this is a pretty basic name.  
A more relavant question would be, when did "claymore" come into Scots or 
English usage.  It is interesting to note that the post-period basket 
hilted swords used in Scotland, properly called broadswords, are oftern 
erroneously called "claymores" when there is nothing bog about them.  
"Claymore" seems to get identified with any Scottish sword.  I beleive 
this is a modern misnomer, though.
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