A shillelagh is a traditional wooden Irish weapon/walking stick
, taking its name from the Shillelagh forest
. The word is generally pronounced 'shi-LAY-lee'.
The shillelagh itself varies in length, but is characterised by a knobbly ball at one end, designed to fit comfortably in the hand. The business end
sometimes had lead placed into it, this would be known as a 'loaded
For many young Irishmen, the shillelagh was considered a badge of honour. Father
s taught their sons techniques, and many practiced avidly in spar
ring matches at fair
s and other gatherings.
When fighting with a shilleglagh, the stick is held about a third of the way up from the bottom
, and snapped out with the wrist, unlike other cudgel
s, which are swung.