In our understanding, a sword and a rapier are about the same thing - a sharp weapon that is probably not easy to master. But, as a linguist, I will tell you that there are not so many absolute synonyms among nouns in the Russian language as it seems. Usually one and the same object is not named the same for no reason. Different names indicate either that the objects are still different, or that, for example, the original Russian and borrowed names coexist. So, is the difference between an epee and a rapier real or linguistic?
The word " sword" came to us from the Romance languages, and " rapier" - from the Germanic. Consequently, the linguistic difference between them is already obvious. In general, the sword is a type of cold weapon that originated from the sword. The rapier as a type of cold weapon, namely a kind of sword, arose later, when the need arose to use swords not for military purposes, but for sports and symbolic purposes. The rapier was most common in the 1700s, and the classic epee before that. The regular foil is heavier and longer than the foil, while the shortened foil is lighter. In addition, the difference between the epee and the rapier is that the epee can be considered a chopping weapon, while the rapier has lost this quality. The guard (that is, the part of the handle directly adjacent to the hand) of the epee is more complex and developed, which is technically good for those who are learning to master it.
- The epee is a thrusting and chopping weapon, and the rapier is only a thrusting one.
- The rapier appeared later and is a kind of sword.
- The rapier has a wider scope than the sword.
- The guards of the rapier and swords are different.
- Usually a rapier is lighter than a sword.