Glossary of Armor Terms

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Glossary of Terms for Armor

Barding: armor made for a mount, commonly a horse.
Besagew: circular plate protecting the lance-side shoulder.
Bevor: a plate for face and neck protection on a helmet.
Breath: holes or slits in the visor of a helmet to allow the wearer to breathe.
Brim: a flange around the edge of the skull-piece of a helmet.
Buffe: an open-fronted visor with vertical metal strips. It gave improved visibility.
Cannon: the upper cannon was the upper arm armor, the lower cannon (also known as a vambrace) was the armor of the forearm.
Cheek-guards: metal plating or mail designed to protect the cheeks. Sometimes removable or hinged.
Codpiece: a triangular-shaped piece of material worn over the groin.
Coif: a headpiece made like a balaclava, usually made of mail.
Comb: a decorative crest or ridge of varying height mounted on a helmet, running from front to back or from side to side.
Couter: bent plate protecting the inside of the elbow.
Crest: see 'Comb' above.
Cuisse: thigh-plate.
Cuirass: a breastplate.
Cuirassier: a cavalryman, especially one in the gunpowder era.
Fauld: a codpiece made of plate or mail.
Gorget: a curved plate or plates of metal encircling and protecting the throat.
Grandguard: a metal plate resembling a shield built into the arm of a suit of armor and extending across the chest and shoulder.
Greaves: shin-plates.
Hauberk: any garment resembling a jerkin or shirt.
Heaume: a great helm used for jousting and ceremony, often fitted with lavish decorations and headpiece.
Helm: a helmet, particularly a large, grandiose or heavy one (great helm or close-helmet, for example). Lighter helms (kettle hats and morions) were known as helmets.
Lames: laminated plates designed to protect as well as plate, while still conferring good mobility.
Mail: a form of armor made of interlocking rings of metal.
Pauldron: shoulder-plate, also known as spaulder.
Poleyn: kneecap-guards.
Rondel: a circular plate of metal designed to protect the straps on a wrapper.
Peak: an attachment to a helmet, taking the form of a plate over the eyes like the peak of a baseball cap.
Sabaton: metal-armored footwear.
Sight: slit or holes in the visor of the helmet to allow the wearer to see.
Skull-Piece: the rounded top of a helmet, designed to protect the upper half of the skull.
Surcoat: a fabric garment worn over the top of armor, typically by European knights. It was sleeveless and hung down to the knees, and usually carried the wearer's coat-of-arms, or the design of his order (Knights Hospitalers or Templars, for example).
Tassets: leg-protection consisting of lames or plate worn over the thighs. Usually, it only protected the front.
Tonlet: a flared, laminated plate skirt for extra leg protection.
Wrapper: a metal plate designed to protect a buckle or join in armor, especially on the helmet.