One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A coat of mail.‘the byrnie could not withstand solid blows with the axe’
armour, coat of mail, chain mail, chain armourView synonyms
- ‘He said that his armour was almost useless, his byrnie broken, his helmet burst open.’
- ‘In common we all share sword, helmet, byrnie, the trappings of war.’
- ‘The mail byrnie of the Vikings had been sufficient to give reasonable protection to the fighting man at close quarters from the sword-blows of his adversary.’
- ‘They had shields and helms, but no byrnies, except a hundred men that were most lissom.’
- ‘Their byrnies were gleaming, the strong links of shining chain-mail chinked together.’
- ‘That mailshirts and helms would have been widespread is shown by the fact that Ethelred commanded that every eight hides provide a helmet and byrnie.’
Middle English: from Old Norse brynja.
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