Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A to Z Challenge: C - Cuirass

Cuirass

This one is fun. First of all, because any word that includes ass is fun, especially when it ends in -ass. But also because it's part of a suit of armor, and let's face it, armor is one of the key elements when it comes to bad-assery.

cui·rass [kwɪˈræs] n 1. (Military / Arms & Armour) a piece of armour, of leather or metal covering the chest and back
2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Zoology) a hard outer protective covering of some animals, consisting of shell, plate, or scales
3. (Transport / Nautical Terms) any similar protective covering, as on a ship

Synonyms: there are no actual synonyms for this word, but some related terms might be: hauberk, breast plate, plate armor, culet, faulds, brigadine.

Etymology: "armor for the chest and back," mid-15c., from M.Fr. cuirasse (15c.), from L.L. coriacea vestis "garment of leather," from L. corium "leather, hide" (see corium). Cognate with It. corazza, Sp. coraza, Port. couraça.

81 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Fun and interesting. loved the post.
Yvonne.

Ted Cross said...

Yeah, I kept having to look up words to help me with bits of armor dressing for my fantasy novel. I think I may have even had cuirass in there somewhere.

Jessica L. Foster said...

I love learning new words. Thanks for posting.

Huntress said...

I find ancient armor like Roman/Greek fascinating.

This appears to be Medieval?? Not sure. But very cool.

Marta Szemik said...

Didn't know that's what it was called. Now I have to try to include it in my writing:)

becca said...

cool i have always wanted to know what they called this

Old Kitty said...

Oh this word appeals to my juvenile sense of homour! LOL! Take care
x

Sue McPeak said...

#1...AhYes...we of the Female gender know about breast plates that end much the same...Bra-ss!
#2...Texas State Animal, the Armadillo, wears a breast plate but alas it doesn't save it's Cuir-Ass on the highways and byways.

Fun post for 'C'. Well done!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I've always thought those looked REALLY uncomfortable. I'll bet they chafed liked crazy.

Summer Frey said...

Everything I know about armor and weaponry, I learned playing RPGs.

farawayeyes said...

THIS is a new word for me.

Traci Kenworth said...

I love knights, so reading about a cuirass helps inspire ideas. Thanks!!

Jean said...

Very interesting. We loved the Hall of Knights (I think it was called--it was always being overhauled when my sons were little) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY. I like the different styles of armor. I particularly like Japanese armor. It is quite ifrece looking and I know Darth Vader has got to have had its design origins from it.
I make chain maille as a jewelry designer and find the history of chain maille fascinating. jean

SA Larsenッ said...

Can you image getting up each day and having to put that on? Plus, talk about adding more tension to a romantic date.

Zan Marie said...

Well, I've always thought that curiass was a funny word because it does absolutely nothing to protect your ass. ; )

JeffO said...

You need a cutlass to go with your cuirass.

Alyssia said...

Great post. Putting on my nerd hat here...When The Hubby and I played Everquest (online roleplaying game with wizards and shadowknights, etc.), my cleric's breastplate was actually some fancy name merged with "cuirass." So, I knew what this was! Woo hoo!

Bonnee Crawford said...

Bad-assery for the win! :)

Liza said...

Hmmm. Learn something new every day.

DonnaGalanti said...

Nice to be in the challenge with you! And I am so going to find a way to use this word in conversation...perhaps on someone I dont like and let them think I insulted them in some way. LOL

mmshaunakelley said...

I have a weird desire to sneak this into one of my very modern stories.

Rick Daley said...

I'm going to try and work this into general conversation each day for the next week.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

teeheehee... ass.

Rusty Webb said...

Oh. I thought it was just a way cooler way to spell curious. I learned something new today.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Love yer work, sweetie.

Nancy Thompson said...

Very cool! Though I doubt I'll be able to work this one into a contentempirary psychological thriller. Hmmm... Still learning though!

M.J. Fifield said...

I love any word that end with -ass.

=)

M.J. Fifield
My Pet Blog

Karen S. Elliott said...

You're funny ... any word that ends in a**. Love your A-Z.

Angela Ackerman said...

Looking at the phonetic spelling, I'm trying to figure out how to say this word. I mean, I know how I say it, but not I'm not sure that I'm pronouncing it right.

But yes--totally words with ass in it must be used as often as possible. :)_

Ange

Laura said...

that must have been so heavy to wear!

Shannon King said...

Well I just learned something...great post and thanks for sharing...I had no idea what these were called...blessings.

D.G. Hudson said...

I love this type of post, Matt, history and information I probably wouldn't know, otherwise, even though I love stories with swords, knives and such in them.

Enjoyed this. I'll be back, but I'm already a follower.

Sarah Ahiers said...

I want that armor. It's super pretty

M said...

I needed one of those when I taught middle school.

Thanks for co-hosting A-Z April!

Emily said...

I had no idea that different armor had names! I guess everything has its name in this world!

Briane P said...

I really feel sorry for the people of the middle ages and their technology.

"We need protection from those swords!"

"How about we put you in a giant metal canister?"

"How will I move?"

"Um. Let's make it smaller and poke holes for your legs and arms."

"Doesn't that mean I'm vulnerable to swords again?"

"Look, we're all going to die of dystentary before we reach age 21, so what do you want from me, man?"

"Cuirass it is, then."

"You're going to Hell for saying ass, according to the Archbishop."

(That, I assume, is a scene lifted VERBATIM from George R.R. Martin's next book.)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And any good D&D geek knows the word!

Kelly Polark said...

You'd think that cuirass would be armor for the buttocks...

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, who knew I'd be getting a vocabulary lesson today?! Thanks.

Lynn Proctor said...

i was once looking for a cheap one of these for a church play---now i see them all the time!

Angela Orlowski-Peart said...

Awesome idea for the A to Z Challenge :-) I learned something new today - thank you!

Christina Lee said...

Well look at you with your fancy schmancy-ness this month! AHA, a breast plate (who knew?)!

DL Hammons said...

Ever watch that show "Full Metal Jousting"? :)

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Ooh armor. You're such a boy. Dude...I got my cover art. Check it out... :)))

Joshua said...

As it did the first time I saw the word at ten years old, cuirass still makes me giggle.

Ishta Mercurio said...

"Bad-assery" - another word that contains "ass"!

This was neat. I'm going to try to use this word one day. Fun post!

rch said...

Great word choices so far, looking forward to reading the rest, particularly Q,X and Z. C ya

mooderino said...

I know this one from video games. And my parents said they were a waste of time!

mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino
The Funnily Enough

Eric W. Trant said...

You have said this word out loud, yes? You sure you want your knight to be called that, soften up the i just a little.

For instance, Traci's post, read aloud, has quite a different meaning:

"I love knights, so reading about a cuirass helps inspire ideas. Thanks!!"


- Eric

Jessica Salyer said...

Haven't heard of this one either. Okay, so far I'm one for two.

kmckendry said...

Great post! I love going to the museums and seeing medieval suits of armor, especially the ones with holes in them. Makes you wonder what the story was behind it.

Shaun_ShutterBug said...

Any word with the word Ass in it is BADASS. I so need a suit of armour.... not want, need.
Excellent post Matt
Shaun
Valleys ShutterBug
AtoZ buddy

Clarissa Draper said...

What an ass-tounding word! Love words with ass in them too. Makes me laugh.

Amber said...

this made me laugh :)

Jennifer Macfarlan said...

That word is great!

Kristen Pelfrey said...

This is one of those words that I can say in class and we will all snicker. It's inevitable.

MAJK said...

don't forget the rule of MMO's when it comes to a cuirass... Males - the higher the armor class the more bad-ass the cuirass will be but for females the less of the cuirass you will see the higher the armor class :)

*~MAJK~*
Safireblade.com
A to Z Challenge

Wendy G. Ewurum: Blog Author said...

I love that word. Howdy?

Cherie Reich said...

Ah, so that's what that thing is called. Good to know. :)

Tonja said...

I wonder if I will ever in my lifetime come across that word anywhere else - I will keep looking. :)

Angela Brown said...

I've always referred to this as breast plate. This is cool to know some of the synonoms for providing a variety of word choice when writing.

ediFanoB said...

Cuirass is an important word for players of adventures and role playing games.

Valerie Sloan said...

I've seen that piece of armor before but never new the word for it. Always nice to learn something new.

Rhia Roberts said...

Oh my, my, my, I've found a blog I love. Words excite me so I'm a happy camper right now. I'll be back..

Rhia at Five Minute Piece for Inspiration (around #871 at A to Z Challenge)

Andrew Leon said...

There are just too many jokes here waiting to not be said.
At least, not by me.

Jemi Fraser said...

Next time I teach medieval times, I'll have to bring up this word - the kids will love it! :)

Pk Hrezo said...

Hey I learned a new word today! ;)

Shannon Cyr said...

armor + bad-assery? Oh how I love you, Matt. :)

Good c word.

Diligent Writer said...

I work at a homeless shelter. Do you think I can get one of those to wear there? LOL! Cool post!

Leigh Covington said...

LOL! You're right - any word with ass in it, is automatically fun. Love this one. :) You're brilliant. You know that right?

Leslie Rose said...

I love a man in a cuirass. Better than a man in uniform.

lady reader said...

I really do adore your posts! I knew you would have a kick ass theme. Go you! I actually do come by and read these every day I just may not have the time to stop and comment. There is a ton of freaking people signed up. I had no idea there would be so many! It's incredible!

Talk to you in a month or so...

Saturday Sadie said...

Love your word-of-the-day theme for the "Blogging from A to Z" challenge. I feel the smart coming on already!

Rob and Lisa said...

Hehehe. It ends in ass.

Jamie Gibbs said...

This would go well with my helmet :) Feel sorry for the poor guys who had to try and fight with something as heavy as that thing on them.


Jamie Gibbs
Fellow A-Z Buddy
Mithril Wisdom

Shannon Lawrence said...

It is, indeed, a good word. Also, a good thing to have when people are trying to stab you...

Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Kathy said...

Never heard of that before...good take on the 'C' though. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

caramiaamore said...

I am having a lot of fun on your theme. I'm learning fun things about interesting words!

Cara

Paws on the Run said...

Ha Ha! Love the ass comment.

My vocabulary is brutal. I just may need to come by every day for some more knowledge!

Sarah Pearson said...

I learnt this one from playing WoW :-)

sue said...

Yep, great word. When I see that bit of armour I think of Angua (rom Pratchett's Discworld) and how she needs her breast plate configured especially!

Sue: An A-Z of Climate Matters