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Scottish word of the week: Claymore

A traditional claymore sword in silhouette at Dirleton Castle. Picture: TSPL

A traditional claymore sword in silhouette at Dirleton Castle. Picture: TSPL

THE claymore is a double-edged longsword widely used by clans in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries during the late medieval period.

Later iterations of claymores used in the 17th and 18th centuries were basket-hilted (as opposed to the cross-hilted design of earlier claymores) to protect the fighter’s hand in combat. Such designs were referred to as claidheamh cuil, or back-swords, in Gaelic.

No doubt keen to adopt the battling qualities long associated with the weapon, Scotland’s first American football franchise - the Scottish Claymores - took the name and managed to win a World Bowl championship in 1996. Former Scotland captain Gavin Hastings was a notable player for the Claymores, though Scott Couper is probably the team’s most celebrated Scottish player.

 

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