One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A piece of armor for the leg.
- ‘I think we have finally left medieval armor behind us, after talking about cuisses and culets and jambeaus.’
- ‘Ajax, in the archaic attitude of the ‘kneeling race’, with helmet, jambeaus and armour from which his chiton emerges, is intent on carrying the lifeless body of Achilles, naked and with his long hair falling towards the ground.’
- ‘Thus, they usually spend a day removing all the bulky portions of their armor, retaining only critical greaves, cuisses, and jambeau.’
Late Middle English: apparently an Anglo-Norman French derivative of French jambe ‘leg’.
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