'Ballok' dagger

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leonardo
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'Ballok' dagger

Post by leonardo »

Hi,
Many years ago someone told me an interesting story about why the ballok dagger (or variations of the name) was so named. However I've forgotten it, so could anyone refresh my memory?
Cheers.
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craig1459
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Post by craig1459 »

The shape of the hilt resembles male genitalia
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Kidney dagger

Post by Stuart Quayle »

This style of dagger was also known as a Kidney dagger, I guess because the hilt resembled a pair of kidneys :)

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Re: 'Ballok' dagger

Post by Adam R »

leonardo wrote:Hi,
Many years ago someone told me an interesting story about why the ballok dagger (or variations of the name) was so named. However I've forgotten it, so could anyone refresh my memory?
Cheers.
Now it just so happens I am an expert here - or at least I am often told I talk lots about ballock daggers - well - ballocks in general anyway :)

The ballock dagger takes its name from the original manufacturing company, ballock and ballhook Ltd of Chertsey St in London, designed and originally sold as letter openers in the early 13th Century. The product was originally sold under the trademark 'ballock opening device' with the tag line 'good to open entire sack fulls!' to a happy buying public. The product was developed over the century into the commonly known 'ballock dagger' of the 15th century (the company's name becoming synonymous with the product - rather like hoover) where it became respected as an opener of male parts as well as just mail. Unfortunately the ballock dagger fell from favour in the mid to late 16th century with growing poularity of postcards, as letter openers were no longer required their presence in a household denoted a lack of class and the term 'a load of old ballocks' was commonly used to describe outdated and unfashionable items - a phrase that can still be heard in some of the more isolated villages of middle England.

Hope this helps...

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Adam
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Post by Thomas Hayman »

Superb! :D

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Post by gregory23b »

You bad man Adam, but very well done, sacks indeed...hahaha

The kidney dagger was the squeamish Victorian re=phrasing of bollock/ballock dagger if memory serves.

Leonardo, just for the record ; B***cks/ballocks are now vulgar for testicles, they appear not have been in the time we represent (in case you genuinely did not know the term)
middle english dictionary

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StaffordCleggy
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Post by StaffordCleggy »

Whenever i do the arms & armour talks, i always tell it this way :-
"The Victorian archeologists called this the 'Kidney dagger', ahem! They weren't far off, just a little further south & a little more central!" :lol:
Then i explain about the usage of language, & how things have become more/less offensive to polite society in the intervening centuries.
" If anyone wants to know what it is really called & you are at least as tall as i am, then come & see me afterwards".
Unfortunately, as i am only 5'2" i get a load of suspiciously young looking kids stood around me saying "Go on then mister, what's it really called?"
:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

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Mountain Boy
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Post by Mountain Boy »

very cool - i read somewhere that the scottish dirk was later modelled on the 'Ballock' Dagger. But with a serrated edge. And usually used from broken swords. I'm off to research it and will update this post

updated:
The first true dirks appeared in the early 1600's, evolving from the medieval ballock dagger that was a stabbing weapon, designed to pierce armor, with a heavy, sharply-pointed blade. It retained the ballocks between the handle and blade but developed a wide, flaring pommel capped by a circular brass disk.

[paraphrasing from http://www.ancient-weapons.com/scottish-dirks.html]

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Post by Alan_F »

Mountain Boy wrote:updated:
The first true dirks appeared in the early 1600's, evolving from the medieval ballock dagger that was a stabbing weapon, designed to pierce armor, with a heavy, sharply-pointed blade. It retained the ballocks between the handle and blade but developed a wide, flaring pommel capped by a circular brass disk.

[paraphrasing from http://www.ancient-weapons.com/scottish-dirks.html]
I doubt that they were used to pierce armour, I certainly can't see it as a realistic possibility. I also wouldn't rely on a website that is little more than a sales place.
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Mountain Boy
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Post by Mountain Boy »

yeah ok good point - i should have checked that first. Cheers

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Post by StaffordCleggy »

Well, we have Rondel daggers that are designed for penetrating armour, although the armour in question is maille not plate, with a triple-edged blade coming to a fine point.
Never seen one actually used to break open maille links but the examples i have examined certainly look capable of doing so, albeit with a bit of 'grunt' behind them!

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Re: 'Ballok' dagger

Post by chrisanson »

Adam R wrote:
leonardo wrote:Hi,
Many years ago someone told me an interesting story about why the ballok dagger (or variations of the name) was so named. However I've forgotten it, so could anyone refresh my memory?
Cheers.
Now it just so happens I am an expert here - or at least I am often told I talk lots about ballock daggers - well - ballocks in general anyway :)

The ballock dagger takes its name from the original manufacturing company, ballock and ballhook Ltd of Chertsey St in London, designed and originally sold as letter openers in the early 13th Century. The product was originally sold under the trademark 'ballock opening device' with the tag line 'good to open entire sack fulls!' to a happy buying public. The product was developed over the century into the commonly known 'ballock dagger' of the 15th century (the company's name becoming synonymous with the product - rather like hoover) where it became respected as an opener of male parts as well as just mail. Unfortunately the ballock dagger fell from favour in the mid to late 16th century with growing poularity of postcards, as letter openers were no longer required their presence in a household denoted a lack of class and the term 'a load of old ballocks' was commonly used to describe outdated and unfashionable items - a phrase that can still be heard in some of the more isolated villages of middle England.

Hope this helps...

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Adam

sounds like "ballocks" to me :twisted:

chris

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Re: 'Ballok' dagger

Post by Adam R »

chrisanson wrote: sounds like "ballocks" to me :twisted:

chris
Or was that a load of old kidneys? One of the two... ;)
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Post by chrisanson »

lol
chris

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Post by Jim Smith »

"a phrase that can still be heard in some of the more isolated villages of middle England. "

Hmm.. If I didn't know any better Adam, I might suspect you were talking from personal experience.... :wink:
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Post by Mountain Boy »

just been told that Ballock daggers and Dirks were actually for penetrating armour and especially link mail. suppose it depends on strength of person wielding it??
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Post by gregory23b »

More like getting between the joins in armour rather than armour itself, if you have your opponnent at a disadvantage then you might be aiming for softer things like eyes, necks etc. It would take a lot of momentum and energy to punch through armour from stabbing.
middle english dictionary

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Re: 'Ballok' dagger

Post by Bartolo »

Adam R wrote:
The ballock dagger takes its name from the original manufacturing company, ballock and ballhook Ltd of Chertsey St in London, designed and originally sold as letter openers in the early 13th Century. The product was originally sold under the trademark 'ballock opening device' with the tag line 'good to open entire sack fulls!' to a happy buying public. The product was developed over the century into the commonly known 'ballock dagger' of the 15th century (the company's name becoming synonymous with the product - rather like hoover) where it became respected as an opener of male parts as well as just mail. Unfortunately the ballock dagger fell from favour in the mid to late 16th century with growing poularity of postcards, as letter openers were no longer required their presence in a household denoted a lack of class and the term 'a load of old ballocks' was commonly used to describe outdated and unfashionable items - a phrase that can still be heard in some of the more isolated villages of middle England.

Hope this helps...

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Adam
Hi, I'd like to re-open an old post 'cause I'm really interested in ballock daggers. May Adam be so please to tell me the source for the above anecdote? I'd like to know, 'cause it sounds really odd to me... For example: how could Ltd exist in the 13th century?? And how can you talk about postcards during Middle Ages?? Uhm....

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Post by chrisanson »

its a joke ( the english sence Sense of humour )
chris

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Post by Sophia »

Cara Mia,

As said elsewhere, welcome to the Asylum. That is a fine example of the English sense of humour which seems to be possessed in large quantities by many re-enactors.

Sophia :D

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Post by Adam R »

Sophia wrote:That is a fine example of the English sense of humour
Why thank you :)

Bartolo,

Mi dispiace! :oops:

Adam
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