The Misericorde Dagger - The coup de grâce stilletto
The coup de grâce stilletto
The expression coup de grâce (pronounced /ku' d 'gras/; "blow of mercy") means a death blow intended to end the suffering of a wounded creature.

It can also refer to the beheading that follows a samurai's seppuku. While the correct pronunciation is similar to "coo de grahce". In english, it is usually pronounced as "coo de gra"...with the final "s" sound being silent.

The Misericorde: Pronounced mis·er·i·cord, was a pointed, edgeless dagger (more like a spike) used by knights to deliver a final "mercy" blow to the mortally wounded (or command surrender by threatening to deliver the final blow). Details on the description vary slightly. Most agree it had a straight and narrow blade with a triangular section and no cutting edge. Some indicate it had no guard. Overall, it seems to have some resemblance to a stiletto.

As mentioned, a misericorde was a long, narrow knife, used in medieval times to deliver the death stroke, the mercy stroke, hence the name of the blade, (derived from the Latin misericordia "mercy") to a seriously wounded knight. The blade was thin enough so that it could strike through the gaps between armour plates, quite often, under the armour plating of the arms. The word is also used as a fencing term.

The weapon was used from the 12th century and has appeared in the armaments of Germany and England.

Ambrose Bierce, the great 19th century American editorialist said of the Misericorde; "It was a dagger which in mediaeval warfare was used by the foot soldier to remind an unhorsed knight that he was mortal."

In 1956 Edith Piaf sung the song Misericorde (Heaven have mercy) to great acclaim.

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Sources: Wikipedia®