Where Did the Term “Swashbuckler” Come From and What Does the Phrase “Wide Berth” Mean?

Swashbuckler, a word we use for a pirate, was created from the archaic words swash, meaning “to make noise by striking,” and buckler, meaning “shield.”

A swaggering brute yelling and banging his sword on his shield was called a swashbuckler.

These bullies were given a “wide berth,” which in nautical lingo means to anchor or berth a ship a safe distance away from another that might cause trouble.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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