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Buckle is used mostly for the thing that's on belts. Where did the word come from?

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  • Welcome to EL&U. For answering simple etymology question, we like to consult etymonline. Sep 13, 2013 at 7:53
  • Interesting comment at etymonline about the boss of a shield. I wondered why armaments were called "sword and buckler".
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 13, 2013 at 8:56
  • @Andrew@ the OED entry includes "Sometimes wrongly applied to any kind of shield. Also attrib." Sep 13, 2013 at 9:27

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It’s from Latin buccula, the diminutive of bucca meaning cheek. That’s because a buccula was once the cheek-strap of a helmet.

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