I'm not sure if this topic belongs here, but I have a quick question: why exactly are colonial swords (it seems only British and American military sabers) called hangers? It seems a rather odd name...

Thanks in advance.
According to our article, Forms of European Edged Weaponry:

A short hunting sword with a straight or slightly curved single-edged and pointed blade, often with a back edge. In the 17th century and first half of the 18th its hilt usually had quillons, a knuckle guard, a shell guard turned towards the blade, and a pommel, occasionally shaped like a bird's head. Hilts of later examples often have only short recurved quillons and a massive one-piece grip flaring towards a cap (instead of a pommel).

The term "hanger" is also to a short infantry soldier's regulation sidearm used in the 18th to mid-19th century (in Germany and Russia this military hanger was called respectively, Dusack and tessak.)

... now the question of why remains. :)
A hanger is also defined in Webster's as - a loop or strap on a sword belt from which a short sword or dagger was hung The name could have been eventually transferred to the sword itself.

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