Absence of Blade: Very short fight, unless both parties are in this state, in
which case, very long and boring fight

Advance: “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a salle like this?”

Balestra: A man with a sword and a tutu.

Bayonet: A close-quarters fencing discipline

Baudry Point: A village in Cornwall where epeeists are bred in cages

Black Card: “We sympathise with your loss, but you shouldn’t have let your son
take up fencing”

Change of Engagement: A way to upset your fiancee. Not recommending if fiancee
is sabreur

Commanding the Blade: Clearly stupid. It’s a piece of metal.

Counter-Attack: Aggressive movement to be first to the bar after fencing

Counter-Parry: A rabid dislike of “Jerusalem” (c. Charles HH Parry)

Counter-Riposte: “Yeah? Well. Your mum.”

Corps-A-Corps: Dangerous fencing competition between entire army regiments.

Coule: A way of cooking potatoes

Coupe: A two door car that is incredibly difficult to load fencing gear into

Cross: The mood fencers get in when they read this log

Derobement: A prelude to a more informal activity popular with two or more
consenting fencers.

Feint: Brought on by too much fencing and not enough liquid intake

Fleche: The bit of you that gets stabbed.

Flying Riposte: See counter-riposte, but in an aeroplane.

Hilt: “point at which I can’t be bothered”. As in “I’ll back you up to the hilt”

Homologated: Please, this is a family weblog.

In Quartata: The recommended quantity for attacking innocent passers by with

Insistence: “It IS a real sport”.

Lame: Stickfight’s excuses for losing.

Moulinet: A brand of food mixer. Considered ungentlemanly, but technically
classed as a sabre

Octave: The normal alteration in vocal pitch when a fencer gets a groin hit.


  1. Soak 1 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain
    well. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy based saucepan and add two garlic
    cloves and an onion (chopped). Fry over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, until
    softened. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, until browned.
  2. Stir in 350g/12oz arborio rice and coat in the oil. Pour in 1 pint dry white
    wine and simmer, stirring, until the liquid has been absorbed. Add 2 pints hot
    vegetable stock by the ladleful and simmer, stirring again, until the liquid
    has been absorbed and the rice is plump and tender.
  3. Roughly chop the soaked mushrooms and stir into the risotto, along with
    parsley, 1 oz butter and salt and pepper. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan

Passe: An unfashionable fencing outfit

Piste: No, no. This one’s just too easy. Insert your own line

Plastron: Inhabitant of planet Vengnor. Not very good at foil, but then it has
no limbs

Presentation: Weak point of fencers who have facial hair.

Press: People who take no interest in fencing.

Prise de Fer: A goldfish won from travelling entertainment providers.

Quarte: A sensible serving of whisky.

Referee: Term of abuse.

Ricasso: French exponent of Cubism.

Right-of-Way: Claimed by any fencer driving to the Nationals.

Salle: Word for people who find “room” difficult to say.

Septime: Very cumbersome version of the Greek Trireme ships.Particularly
unpleasant for rowers seated on bottom row (they were chained in place – think
about it).

Simple: Accusation levelled at Fencers

Sixte: How epeeists write their IQ down.

Thrown Point: High risk move, as it results in an absence of blade (see earlier

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