A baldric (also baldrick, bawdrick, bauldrick as well as some other, mostly rare or obsolete, variations) is a belt worn over one shoulder that is typically used to carry a weapon (usually a sword) or other implement such as a bugle or drum. [ [ baldric. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000 ] ] [ [ Baldric - LoveToKnow 1911 ] ] The word may also refer to any belt in general, but this usage is poetic and not considered standard.

Baldrics have been used since ancient times. The design offers more support for weight than a standard waist belt, without restricting movement of the arms, and allowing easy access to the object carried. The use of baldrics is traditionally military, but may fill a ceremonial role rather than a practical one. Many non-military or paramilitary organizations include baldrics as part of ceremonial dress. The Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Color Corps uses a baldric as part of their uniform; [ [ 4th Degree Color Corps ] ] [ [ Knights of Columbus, Emblem, Jewels, and Regalia ] ] it supports a ceremonial sword.

The baldric in popular culture

* Benedick, from William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing", says "But that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead or hang my bugle in an invisible baldric all women shall pardon me."
* A baldric features prominently in Chapter 2 of Alexandre Dumas, père's "The Three Musketeers", in which D'Artagnan has his nearly-disastrous first encounters with Porthos (who is wearing one), Aramis, and Athos.
* The yeoman in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales "is described as wearing a "baldrick of bright green."
* Jean-Luc Picard admonishes Worf in "": "Straighten your baldric".
* The baldric of Pallas plays a key part in the Aeneid, leading Aeneas to kill Turnus.
* "On a baldric he wore a great horn tipped with silver that now was laid upon his knees." (A reference to Boromir in "The Fellowship of the Ring")
* Baldrics are also mentioned in the poem the Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The Lady's true love Sir Lancelot is described as wearing one: " And from his blazoned baldric slung".
* The costume of the character He-Man from Masters of the Universe includes a baldric.
* Baldrick is a character in the BBC comedy series "Blackadder "played by Tony Robinson.
* A Sam Browne belt is a modern invention similar in function to the baldric.
* A bandolier is a belt worn in a similar fashion, used to carry ammunition for firearms.
* In Morris Dancing a baldric is one of a crossed pair of sashes or ribbons, one worn over each shoulder.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Baldric — Bal dric, n. [OE. baudric, bawdrik, through OF. (cf. F. baudrier and LL. baldringus, baldrellus), from OHG. balderich, cf. balz, palz, akin to E. belt. See {Belt}, n.] A broad belt, sometimes richly ornamented, worn over one shoulder, across the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • baldric — c.1300, belt worn over the shoulder, from O.Fr. baldre (Mod.Fr. baudrier shoulder belt ), which probably is from L. balteus belt, said by Varro to be of Etruscan origin. The English word perhaps influenced by M.H.G. balderich (which is itself… …   Etymology dictionary

  • baldric — [bôl′drik΄] n. [ME bauderik < OFr baudrei < Frank * balti, belt < ? L balteus > BELT] a belt worn over one shoulder and across the chest to support a sword, bugle, etc …   English World dictionary

  • Baldric —    A shoulder belt. A Gladius is a short, double edged thrusting sword used by ancient Roman infantry. It was worn at the right hip on a belt or a baldric …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

  • baldric — noun Etymology: Middle English baudry, baudrik, from Middle French baudré, from Old French baldrei Date: 14th century an often ornamented belt worn over one shoulder to support a sword or bugle …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • baldric — baldricked, adj. /bawl drik/, n. a belt, sometimes richly ornamented, worn diagonally from shoulder to hip, supporting a sword, horn, etc. Also, baldrick. [1250 1300; ME bauderik, bawdryk, baudry < AF baudré, baldré, OF baldrei, baudré, perh. <… …   Universalium

  • baldric — noun A belt used to hold a sword, sometimes richly ornamented, worn diagonally from shoulder to hip …   Wiktionary

  • Baldric — A belt worn crossways from the shoulder to carry a sword, usually richly decorated; a belt worn over one shoulder and under the opposite arm, supporting a horn; the strap from which the clapper of a bell was hung …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • baldric — bal|dric Mot Agut Nom masculí …   Diccionari Català-Català

  • baldric — sb. == [baudry]. Alys. 4698. Fr. baldret. Lat. balteus …   Oldest English Words

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