A baldric (also baldrick, bawdrick, bauldrick as well as some other, mostly rare or obsolete, variations) is a belt worn over one
shoulderthat is typically used to carry a weapon(usually a sword) or other implement such as a bugle or drum. [ [http://www.bartleby.com/61/86/B0038600.html baldric. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000 ] ] [ [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Baldric Baldric - LoveToKnow 1911 ] ] The word may also refer to any belt in general, but this usage is poetic and not considered standard.
Baldrics have been used since ancient times. The design offers more support for weight than a standard waist belt, without restricting movement of the arms, and allowing easy access to the object carried. The use of baldrics is traditionally military, but may fill a ceremonial role rather than a practical one. Many non-military or paramilitary organizations include baldrics as part of ceremonial dress. The
Knights of Columbus4th Degree Color Corps uses a baldric as part of their uniform; [ [http://www.kofcsupplies.com/ccp0-catshow/4thdegreecolorcorps.html 4th Degree Color Corps ] ] [ [http://www.carr.org/~meripper/kofc/assembly/regalia.asp Knights of Columbus, Emblem, Jewels, and Regalia ] ] it supports a ceremonial sword.
The baldric in popular culture
* Benedick, from
William Shakespeare's " Much Ado About Nothing", says "But that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead or hang my bugle in an invisible baldric all women shall pardon me."
* A baldric features prominently in Chapter 2 of
Alexandre Dumas, père's " The Three Musketeers", in which D'Artagnan has his nearly-disastrous first encounters with Porthos (who is wearing one), Aramis, and Athos.
* The yeoman in
Chaucer's " Canterbury Tales"is described as wearing a "baldrick of bright green."
Jean-Luc Picardadmonishes Worfin "": "Straighten your baldric".
* The baldric of
Pallasplays a key part in the Aeneid, leading Aeneas to kill Turnus.
* "On a baldric he wore a great horn tipped with silver that now was laid upon his knees." (A reference to
Boromirin " The Fellowship of the Ring")
* Baldrics are also mentioned in the poem the Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The Lady's true love Sir
Lancelotis described as wearing one: " And from his blazoned baldric slung".
* The costume of the character
He-Manfrom Masters of the Universeincludes a baldric.
Baldrickis a character in the BBCcomedy series " Blackadder"played by Tony Robinson.
Sam Browne beltis a modern invention similar in function to the baldric.
bandolieris a belt worn in a similar fashion, used to carry ammunition for firearms.
Morris Dancinga baldric is one of a crossed pair of sashes or ribbons, one worn over each shoulder.
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