Week seventy-six: LAMBOYS (probability 26111), by David Sutton

LAMBOYS were a part of mediaeval armour, kilted flexible steel plates worn skirt-like from the waist. Note that there is no LAMBOY*.

The vocabulary of armour is a rich one and one could do worse from the point of view of Scrabble study than spending an hour or two in the Tower of London, that has a fine and well-documented collection. We probably all know GREAVE or GREVE (armour for the lower leg), CUISSE (armour for the thighs), HAUBERK (a tunic-like coat of mail) and VAMBRACE (protecting the arm from the elbow to the wrist), but may be less familiar with some of the other bits and pieces. Such as FLANCARD, armour for the thigh, POLEYN, armour for the knee, MESAIL or MEZAIL, a vizor in two parts, PAULDRON, POULDRON or PULDRON, a shoulder-plate, PLACCAT, PLACCATE or PLACKET, a leather doublet with strips of steel, SALADE, SALET or SALLET, a kind of light helmet extending over the back of the neck, and GANTLET, GANTLOPE or GANTELOPE, an armoured gauntlet.

Horses too had their own armour, giving further specialised words. For example, PEYTRAL, PEYTREL or POITREL, a piece of armour for the breast of a horse, and CHAFFRON, CHAMFRAIN, CHAMFRON or CHANFRON, armour for a horse's head.

But undoubtedly the piece of armour I would most like to play, preferably as a 9-timer, would be JAZERANT, a coat of mail made of small plates of metal sewed upon linen or the like. It has a less attractive variant JESSERANT.


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