Fencing Glossary (humor)
Abstain: French for “so sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.”
Advance: Forward motion made by male fencers toward female fencers, usually resulting in a three-yard penalty, a red card, and a slap across the face.
Alléz: Place to go for a cigarette in the middle of a tournament
Attack in Preparation: When you sneak up and hit your opponent while they’re still putting on their uniform.
Ballestra: Male ballerina.
Barrage: Shelling your opponent with cannon fire from several miles away.
Beat attack: Counting ‘a-one, a-two, a-1,2,3,4’ before hitting your opponent
Change of Engagement: Selecting a new fiancee.
Corps-a-corpse: Sin of the Fleche. French for “full contact fencing.”
Coupe: Little foreign car fencers often drive.
Croise: A French pastry.
Derobement: The Houdini-like motions required by fencers to escape their straightjacket-like fencing uniforms.
Disengage: Getting rid of your fiancee, usually by fencing too much.
Dry Fencing: Fencing without alcohol
En Garde: French for “On Guard,” a paranoid state in which the fencer believes everyone is out to get him.
Engagement: What your fiancée breaks when they realize all you care about is fencing
Envelopment: What fencing does to people who just want to “try it once”
Feeble: What old fencers eventually become.
Feint: What a fencer does after they get their credit card bill from a tournament weekend
Fencing Time: Usually lost in equipment down time, tournament waiting time, etc.
FIE: A curse given in Old English.
Fleche: Is all bruised after a few bouts.
Foible: The mistake you make that lets your opponent get a hit.
Foil: What you are trying to do to your opponent
Forte: The cost of a new blade
French Grip: The fencers secret handshake
Guard: What you have to do at tournaments so your teammates don’t “borrow” all your food.
Lamé: Fencers term for a non-fencer
Off-piste: How you feel when your expensive equipment starts failing
One-Two: Basic fencing dance step. Followed by “Cha-Cha-Cha.”
Overlay: What the fourth person in the back of the Fiesta has to do
Passé: All those other sports you tried before fencing
Phrase: When fencers manage to string words together rather than grunting monosyllabically
Piste: How to end a tournament. Or start it, in some cases
Pistol Grip: What you want to grab when you loose a 14-14 D.E. on a questionable call
Plaqué: What you get between your teeth if you don’t brush
Pommel: Beating your opponent senseless with the hilt of your weapon, for sabre fencers only.
Principle of Defense: De grass is always greener on de other side
Quarte: A measure of liquid (i.e.: A quarte of milk. Or indeed a quarton of milk)
Quinte: No such word as…
Redoublement: Pause during the bout for the fencer to take another breath mint
Replacement: What you have to buy quickly at the Paul stand when your last body wire fails.
Right-of-way: That driving law you may need to ignore to get to a tournament on time
Score: What fencers try to do in the Venue after they’ve lost a match.
Second Intention: What you need to come up with when your attack fails miserably
Steam fencing: Fencing in a sauna
Stop-hit: Look left, look right, listen, look right again and then hit
Taking the blade: To steal someone else’s weapon
Tempo: Usually moderato, but faster on the rocky bits and the middle eight.
Touche: A famous cartoon turtle