One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A flat satchel on long straps worn by some cavalry and horse artillery officers from the left of the waist-belt.
- ‘Commanders needed maps and notebooks, and the sabretache, hanging from the waist-belt, not only housed pen, ink, and paper but also provided a convenient writing surface.’
- ‘Away to his left Roger Palmer was scribbling a note on the smooth surface of his sabretache.’
- ‘Knowing myself too great a sinner to merit so sacred a morsel, I slipped it into my sabretache, and wish myself near E., whose innocence might allow her to eat it without sacrilege.’
Early 19th century: from French, from German Säbeltasche, from Säbel ‘saber’ + Tasche ‘pocket’.
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