Why is fencing called “fencing”?
We wondered the same thing. Turns out the name “fencing” is derived from the French word “défense” which, back in the 14th century, was spelled “défence” and referred to the act of defending. If you go back even further, the word comes from the Latin word “defens.”
So why didn’t they just call it sword fighting?
Historically, fencing schools taught more than just swordsmanship. The sport also involved the use of shields, daggers, pikes and more. So, in that context, it seems appropriate that it was given a more all-encompassing name.
When did the Olympics start to include fencing?
So there you have it. The more you know…
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