This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Thing To Do Today If It Doesn't Make you Feel Like A Complete Dork: sabrage.

Sabrage is a newish word in English, and a newish thing to do. 

What is it?

Basically, sabraging involves knocking the top off a champagne bottle with the blunt side of a sabre. Napoleonic cavalrymen used to do it quite often, apparently.

Well, when I say one uses a sabre, apparently it's rather tricky with an actual sabre, so nowadays people tend to use a knife. But the knife does look quite like a sabre, all the same.

So, who does all this sabraging

The Confrerie du Sabre d'Or, Brotherhood of the Golden Sabre. They wear green gold-trimmed cloaks and hats, and they've been a society in England since 1999, and in France, original home of sabraging, since 1986.

So there you are. If you like the idea of dressing up and using an illegal weapon to open a bottle of champagne, and you warm to the exciting chance of encountering some shards of glass in your drink, then sabraging is for you.

If you go to the right restaurant (in London, Smith and Wollensky) you can have a go. Once you've broken open your champagne bottle you get a certificate, get tapped on the shoulders with the sabre (yes, just like someone being knighted), and are proclaimed a member of the confrerie.

More senior members get to wear the cloak and hat, and, later on, after several years of practice, are allowed to open ever bigger bottles of champagne.

Now, I don't want to spoil anyone's fun, but...isn't champagne sold in bottle you can open with your bare hands?

No. No.

Surely not.

Thing To Do Today If It Doesn't Make You Feel Like A Complete Dork: sabrage. This French word comes from sabre, which itself might be from the Magyar száblya.

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