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A Scottish claymore sword

The claymore is a Scottish sword. It has two sharp edges. The word claymore is from Gaelic. It means “great sword”.[1] The sword is held with two hands. In some sources the broad claymore sword is called “claidheamh da lamh”, which means “two-hand sword”. It was very popular in the 16th century when Scottish warriors (highlanders) used it against the Englishmen.

The average claymore was about 55 inches (1.4 metres) long. The blade was about 42 inches (1.07 metres) long. It weighed around 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms).[2] It had a very wide blade. Many claymore blades had a small amount of metal cut out of them. This was done to make the sword weigh less.

There was also a type of claymore that had one sharp edge and a basket-shaped handle. The basket of the handle was used to protect the hands. The basket was also used to help with balance. This was because the blade was very long. Many claymores were made during the mid-1600s.

People in Europe started using swords with two hands in the 14th century.[3] The biggest European swords were made in the early 16th century. They were usually used by bodyguards or soldiers for defending from pikes and polearms. One example of these kinds of swords is the Germanic Zweihänder (two-handed) sword.

References[change | change source]

  1. "claymore". Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989. [1] (subscription required)
  2. Wagner, Paul & Thompson, Christopher, "The words claymore and broadsword" in Hand, Stephen, Spada II: Anthology of Swordsmanship (Chivalry Bookshelf, 2005)
  3. Swords and Sabres, Harvey J S Withers

Other websites[change | change source]