11
$\begingroup$

Is there a generic term that encompasses the various types of limb armor together?

I'm hoping there's a catch-all I don't know about that I could use that would describe the collective of bracers/greaves/pauldrons/etc.

$\endgroup$
6
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "The armor on the arms and legs"? $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 9:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is this a world building question or just a vocabulary one? If we had some context, we could phrase it in terms of world building. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ You mean vambraces, not bracers. A bracer is a special arm covering used by archers to keep the bowstring from damaging their inner forearm, while a vambrace is the part of a suit of medieval armor covering the part of the arm from the bottom of the pauldron down to the wrist (directly equivalent to greaves, which go from the cuisses (armor that covers the thighs) down to the sabatons (armor that covers the feet)). $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 13:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You might want to repost this on english.stackexchange.com. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ I think many of the answers are trying to focus on human-based armors. Your question is generic enough to imply non-human anatomy needing to be armored. Is that what you're trying to get at? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 18:29

3 Answers 3

8
$\begingroup$

Greaves are armor for the lower legs, not armor for the arms. Just use the terms Upper Canon and Lower Canon as generic terms for armor on the arms.

From http://medieval.stormthecastle.com/all-about-medieval-armor.htm:

Plate armor for the arms came into use during this century and this piece of armor was called vambraces and it was composed of armor for the upper arm called the upper canon and armor for the lower arm called the lower canon.

$\endgroup$
4
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I had never heard the terms Upper Canon and Lower Canon used for anything. But google and sure enough. Text and link added for others who like me are skeptical despite being ignorant. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 3:10
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'm looking for a term that works for arms and legs, ideally. I'm aware that greaves are for legs. $\endgroup$
    – watchwood
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 4:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Armor, or just armor plus a body part. Using generic terms for armor makes you seem to have no real knowledge about the subject you are writing about. $\endgroup$
    – cmac84
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 4:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Isn't this a "there is no answer" answer? The OP's Q shows they know there are terms for specific spots. This seems to be listing more of what they don't want? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 18:03
6
$\begingroup$

You could just go with "peripheral armour", but really, the sticky-out-bits on humans tend to be specialised for their tasks and the armour they require is going to be quite different.

There's a reason that we have different words for "things that keep your toes warm" and "things that keep your hands warm", rather than "sticky out cold bit covers". (and before anyone says that you could use "thermals" to refer to coverings for the top half or bottom half of the body, note that this is as helpful as saying that you can use "armour" to refer to coverings for the arms and legs, too)

$\endgroup$
7
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Because phalanges is a silly sounding word. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 10:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Mazura because the assembly made from them is different for the bits that stick out of back end of a human than those that stick out of the front end of a human and indeed a wide variety of other tetrapods too. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 10:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime: (Upvoted.) English is unusual in that it has different words for the digits of the front/upper autopodium (= the hand or manus) and the digits of the hind/lower autopodium (= the foot or the pes). (And even in English, the thing made of phalanges can be called a digit when the distinction between a finger and a toe is not important.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 11:59
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime: In anatomy we have the word autopodium, for use when we don't care whether we are speaking of the forelimbs or the hindlimbs. (And English, just like French "patte" or German "Pfote" or Romanian "labă", has the word "paw" to refer to the autopodia of a non-human animal without distinction between the forelegs and the hindlegs.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 13:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AlexP eh, the difference between fore- and hindpaws was probably less interesting than the distinction between hands capable of grasping and feet that were not. Looks like "foot" and "paw" might have similar origins, maybe. Autopodium sounds suspiciously like a more modern construction, but I don't have access to any kind of etymology reference worthy of the name :-( $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 13:36
5
$\begingroup$

I believe that the term is simply "extremities".

Merriam-Webster: "Definition of extremity... b: a limb of the body especially : a human hand or foot"

So, if your armor is just a kind (not a full-on powered suit, just some conventional armor) that covers these places, why not call them "extremities"?

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .