Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Swashbuckler

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what exactly a swashbuckler is.  I'll start like every other Sacrament talk or public speech: With a dictionary definition of the subject of my discourse.


 [swosh-buhk-ler, swawsh-]   Origin


 [swosh-buhk-ler, swawsh-]  Show IPA
a swaggering swordsman, soldier, or adventurer; daredevil.

Zorro.  The Dread Pirate Roberts.  The Three Musketeers.  Most of the characters portrayed by Errol Flynn on the silver screen. These are all classic examples of swashbucklers.  A swashbuckler is typically unarmored, relying on his wits, speed, and charm to see him safely through his adventures.  He is prone to swinging from chandeliers, dueling villains with his rapier, and engaging in witty repartee.

I have been slightly obsessed with the concept since I was a kid.  My first email address was (Like most hotmail accounts, it has since become my dumping ground for websites who want my email address to register but that I know will send me spam).  Part of the reason I learned French was because I had fallen in love with this mythos of the witty adventurer.  This is also why I took up fencing.  My favorite superhero growing up was always Spider-man, the swashbuckler of superheroes (okay, I know, Nightcrawler is a better fit, but he was always a favorite too).

This brings me to Halloween.  Living in Korea, Halloween is not celebrated much here.  However, I have been sort of planning possible costumes for next year.  What can I say? You can take the American out of America, but you can't take America out of the American.

Looking back at my costume choices in the past, I'm beginning to see a pattern:

Halloween 2007:  I am Le Scorpion, an Italian swashbuckler from a French comic book:

Halloween 2008: I was a Musketeer (Aramis, my favorite).

This was a collaboration costume for a French Club Halloween party.  My good buddy Greg Jackson was the stalwart Athos and we even had a girl from the Master's program play Porthos to round out our triumphant trio.

In 2009 I was in France, again a country without the costumed traditions of the 31st of October.

Halloween 2010:  I decided I'd make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts.  We were able to wear our costumes to work, and I made sure to take no prisoners:

This was fun because most of my co-workers were dressed up as well.  There was a Princess Peach to my left and the most impressive costume of all was a Gizmo-duck from the old cartoon Darkwing Duck.  He even had the unicycle.

And this brings me to brainstorming for my next costume.  I've decided if I grow my hair out a bit, I could maintain my swashbuckling tradition with the roguish Flynn Rider:

I even found a pretty good costume!

 I'd have to trade in my sword for a trusty frying pan, but I think there's enough of a resemblance there to pull off a pretty good Flynn.  So this is where I find myself, trying to justify spending 70 bucks on a Halloween costume.  I really need to meet a girl that can sew, my life would be much simpler then.

What sort of themes do you find yourselves drawn to for Halloween? Are there any other swashbucklers out there? Classic movie monsters? Superheroes?  It's the one day a year where it's okay to be whoever you like.  Do not let it pass you by!


  1. Hmm. I've done a lot of femme fatales (but per my anti slutty rule, I have always been a CLASSY femme fatale). Last year I was Joan from Mad Men, the year before that a Bond Girl (60s makeup and BIG hair). This year I'm debating between Rosie the Riveter or Carmen Sandiego. What think ye?

    La Duchesse de Rogier

  2. Carmen Sandiego, definitely. You can even get an a cappella group to follow you around singing about how no one can catch you.

  3. wow- where would you meet a girl who can sew....