One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A type of long dagger or short sword with a hilt shaped like a capital H on its side (becoming more like a capital I over time), usually worn at the girdle by civilians.
Late Middle English. Probably from post-classical Latin basalardus, baselardus, basilardus, bazalardus and its probable etymon Anglo-Norman baslard, baslarde, baselard, baselarde, basillard and Middle French basalart, of unknown origin; a derivation ultimately from the place name Basel in Switzerland is perhaps possible; it is uncertain whether there is any connection with post-classical Latin baselardus base coin. The relationship with Middle French badelaire, badelare, baselaire type of short sword is also uncertain; for borrowing of this word into Older Scots see Dict. Older Sc. Tongue at Baslar(e, Baislar n.; it was probably also borrowed into Middle Low German as bēseler, bāseler.
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