A Star Wars Word for Wednesday: Lightsaber

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May 4th the marked Star Wars Day and to celebrate we chose Star Wars as this month’s Word for Wednesday theme.

The date of this commemorative celebration comes from the pun on the Star Wars catchphrase ‘May the Force be with you’. Though the first recorded use of ‘May the 4th be with you’ dates to 1979, the first organised commemorative event for Star Wars Day wasn’t until 2011 when an event was hosted at the Toronto Underground Cinema. Today, Star Wars Day is observed by fans all over the world. 

Over the last few weeks, we’ve looked at the words force, Jedi, and droid. Our final Star-Wars-themed word for May is lightsaber.

In the Star Wars franchise, a lightsaber is sword with a plasma blade that looks like a beam of light. Lightsabers are carried by both members of the Jedi and their enemy order the Sith, with villain characters tending to carry red lightsabers

The word light comes from the Old English ‘leht’, from the Proto-Germanic ‘leukhtam’, from the PIE root ‘leuk’. 

Saber is the American spelling of the English word sabre: a heavy, curved sword. The word sabre entered English via French in the 1670s and was an alteration of the 1630s ‘sabel’. ‘Sabel’ is German and possibly comes from the Hungarian ‘szablya’ meaning ‘tool to cut with', from ‘szabni’ meaning ‘to cut’.


25 May 2022
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