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Old 17th January 2018, 06:46 AM   #2
Philip's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 492
Default etymology

Originally Posted by Madnumforce
Hello there,

and the word machete itself quite likely comes from machaera/machaira, which it seems Romans had adopted to a point, at least the word, but so far I have no meaningfull archeological or literary proof that it was falchion/machete like (it could have been pretty much any edged weapon that could have been called that way to sound classy).

Somewhere along the way, I was led to believe that the term machaira was Greek and it referred to some sort of short sword, perhaps a version of the kopis ? The term falchion does seem to have come to us via the Latin falx (sickle, pruning hook, also a hook-like implement for pulling down fortifications under siege), and falcatus sickle-shaped or curved. The Romans applied the name falcata to the broad yataghan-shaped short swords of the Celtiberians; in modern Portuguese, the word for "knife" is faca. A version of the falcata was also used in classical times by the inhabitants of Corsica (around 6th cent. BC), and its hilt has an extended hook-like pommel that with little imagination can be regarded as a possible inspiration for the modern gancio. (see Coe, et al, Swords and Hilt Weapons (1989), illus. p 22 for an example)
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