One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A piece of plate armour (used in the 15th and 16th centuries) which was bolted to the breastplate and worn especially in jousting tournaments as extra protection for the left shoulder and breast. Compare pasguard.
2A detachment of soldiers or cavalry established as an outpost of a military encampment.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Hall's Vnion: Henry VIII. From grand + guard.
grand guard/ˈɡrand ˌɡɑːd/
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