Congratulations to olly
for correctly identifying the definition of sabrage, which is the act of opening a bottle of champage with a sword or sabre. There are several legends of the story of Sabrage or Sabering Champagne
write the authors of the aptly-named champagnesabering.com
: One says that when the officers of Napoleon’s army returned home after a victory, cheering townspeople would hand bottles of Champagne as tokens of their appreciation for their victory and gallantry.
Since the soldiers were mounted on horseback it was difficult to hold the reins of the horse and remove both the foil, wire basket (muselet) around the cork and the cork (bouchon) at the same time, so the soldiers simply took out their sabers and struck it against the lip of the bottle with an upward blow and sabered off the cork. Voilà!
Another says Mme. Clicquot (the widow Clicquot), in order to have her land protected, gave Napoleon's officers Champagne and glasses. Being on their horses, they couldn't hold the glass while opening the bottle.
Consequently, they tossed the glasses away, and took their sabers out and sabered off the top and cork and drank from the bottle. Voilà!
In more scientific terms, it is the meeting of the glass lip (annulus) at the top of the bottle just below the cork (bouchon) with a firm tap of a sabre's edge and at the weakest point of the glass seam in the bottle. When performed on a suitably chilled bottle of Champagne, the cork and glass annulus fly away, spilling little of the precious Champagne. The pressure inside a bottle of Champagne (100 psi) ensures that no glass falls back into the bottle making it safe to drink the spoils.
In either case, "The Noble Art of Sabrage" was born and the rest, they say, is history. olly
is the sole contestant to vote correctly, so let us raise our glasses and say “A votre sante” or sing “For he’s a jolly good fellow.” olly
wins two points, plus a round trip for two to scenic Akron, Ohio, including free admission to the Akron Art Museum and the Goodyear World of Rubber Museum. nharren
is awarded the Daley-Diebold prize for casting his vote for K in a field of A through J. He wins an all-expense paid trip to Nonesuch, KY, with dining provided by the Rice Cake Café and lodging at the Brigadoon Motel.
But it is Elizabeth Creith
who is the big winner. She garnered the most votes for her entry, receiving votes from tsuwm, etaoin, Jackie, and Fiberbabe
was a close second with three votes.) Elizabeth wins the coveted Aubrey-Maturin Award, which consists of 8 points plus a genuine naval cutlass circa 1801, and a free two week cruise aboard the HMS Sophie
. (The contest organizers and Hogwash, Inc cannot guarantee against the possibility of impressment into the Royal Navy. Certain terms and restrictions apply.) As runner-up wofahulicodoc
wins a no-expense paid secret mission to Catalonia on foot, plus a copy of the Royal Naval Surgeon's Handbook, spattered with the very blood of Adm. Nelson himself(or so they say).
I exercised the Hogmaster's Official Whim by allowing so many entries that involved mention of a sword. Normally any one of these might have been considered too close to the actual definition, but the sheer number of sword-related definitions was a bit funny and did not spoil the game IMO.
Here is the full list of other entries, along with their creators and the votes that each received:
(A) :The final act of Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian's ballet "Gayane". There, a fantastic sword twirling dance movement -"The Sabre Dance"- dominates the third act. So much so that the third act entire is today known as the sabrage.
-- themilum; received votes from BranShea, pennyless,
(B) the act of opening a bottle of champagne with a sabre
-- definition; received votes from olly
(C) n., swordsmanship; specifically, to cut off an opponent's appendage
(D) a stylized routine demonstrating prowess with a flat-bladed sword
-- wofahulicodoc; received votes from AnnaStrophic, Aramis, Elizabeth Creith,
(E) The ability to have two or more trains of thought at the same time.
-- Faldage; received votes from themilum,
(F) A usually elongated depression between geologic faults.
(G) A group of native-born Israelis.
-- AnnaStrophic; received votes from Faldage,
(H) sabrage (sá.brage) : local name [West Montana] for sagebrush; perennial of the genera Artemisia.
(I) Sprinkling sand on a still-wet document or signature
-- Elizabeth Creith; received votes from tsuwm, etaoin, Jackie
(J) An infusion of herbs injected under the skin of poultry, customarily chicken or duck, before roasting.
-- Owlbow; received votes from wofahulicodoc