I was thinking, "wielding a bow skill" is called "archery", "forging better swords, bows, armor and stuff" is called "smithing", but what about "wielding a sword" or "wielding a crossbow" or "wielding armor"?

Are there names for other skills including these I've asked about?

P.s. I want to classify different skills into categories. Like for instance "wielding a magic staff" and "mastering using scrolls" as well as "skills in stealing" and those I have mentioned earlier.

  • Wielding a sword is called swashbuckling ;-)
    – J.R.
    Nov 20, 2017 at 16:46
  • @J.R. Wow, that's a word. Nov 20, 2017 at 16:51
  • Douglas Fairbanks knew how to swash his buckle (allegedly).
    – Mick
    Nov 20, 2017 at 17:02
  • 1
    You wield a tool, an instrument, a weapon, you don't wield armour (armor) or a skill. You can wield (exert) influence and power, but not for perfecting or practising (practicing) a skill.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 20, 2017 at 17:24
  • @Mari-LouA So wielding armor doesn't work? Then what does? Handling armor? Nov 20, 2017 at 17:48

2 Answers 2


A general word for skill in wielding swords is swordsmanship. Fencing and swashbuckling (as suggested by J.R.) are both more specific: fencing is a sport that uses very fast movements with light, slim swords, and swashbuckling brings to mind pirates fighting with sabres.

I'm not aware of any English word that means "skill with a crossbow."

As Mary-Lou A says, one doesn't wield armor -- one simply wears it. But I don't know of any word that means "skill in wearing armor."

  • 1
    For the crossbow, marksmanship, maybe?
    – The Photon
    Nov 21, 2017 at 0:59
  • Good suggestion. Either marksmanship or archery is probably fine as long as the context mentions a crossbow; otherwise the listener is likely to assume a gun for marksmanship or a bow for archery. Crossbowmanship is not an English word, but I bet it would be understood.
    – John Ware
    Nov 21, 2017 at 20:35

How are skill nouns formed?

There is no general rule. You simply need to learn the words for different skills (like archery, swordsmanship, etc.) as individual vocabulary words.

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