One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A dagger carried in the left hand to parry a stroke or thrust, and used in conjunction with a rapier.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Charles Boutell (1812–1877), writer on heraldry and antiquities. From French main gauche, lit. ‘left hand’ from main hand + gauche left.
main gauche/ˈmã ˌɡəʊʃ//ˈmaŋ ˌɡəʊʃ/
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