The origin of this strange label does not involve any buckled swashes. Historically, the word "swash" was used as a verb meaning "to make a sound by striking two swords together, or by striking a shield with a sword." A buckler is a small, round shield, generally made of leather and sometimes reinforced with some kind of metal.

So, anybody who goes around swashing their buckler is probably looking for a little action, adventure, and possibly even ribaldry! Oooohhh!

Famous fictional swashbucklers include Robin Hood, Zorro, and The Three Musketeers.

If they ever come up with a swashbuckling school, I think one of the courses should be Laughing, Then Jumping Off Something.

---Jack Handey

Swash"buc`kler (?), n.

A bully or braggadocio; a swaggering, boastful fellow; a swaggerer.

Milton.

 

© Webster 1913.

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