Arme blanche

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Pearsonb
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Arme blanche

Post by Pearsonb » Thu 30 Jul 2015 11:31

What is the difference, if any, between couteau and arme blanche in the context of an attack?

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Thu 30 Jul 2015 12:07

I think an arme blanche is a general term for anything with a blade as opposed to an 'arme à feu' gun, cannon etc

If I understand correctly, because a blade is a cutting edge, clean (white?) there could be some connection there? Also a knife can "saigner à blanc" and I have read that it is a melange of the two which gives it that name.

'Blanc' in ancient french meant 'brillant' or 'shiny' - like a blade. Also, knives were often made with acier 'blanc' at the time.

A very tenous link says that King Arthur's famous sword, Excalibur, was originally called Caliburn ("acier blanc"), coming from chalybus (« acier ») and eburnus (« blanc »).

Who knows? They may all be stories but isn't it fun anyway to chase after the origin of a word or phrase?

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sat 01 Aug 2015 15:18

Apart from the etymology, I think "arme blanche" is just more general - any edged weapon (machete, broken bottle...), rather than a firearm. If you've ever worked in a roughish pub, you'll be conscious that it doesn't have to be a knife to cut you up.

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sat 01 Aug 2015 23:11

martyn94 wrote:Apart from the etymology, I think "arme blanche" is just more general - any edged weapon (machete, broken bottle...), rather than a firearm.
As Kate said quite clearly in her first words. I got lost in her undergrowth (as it were).

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