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The small naval sword worn by midshipmen or their equivalents in most navies, when in full dress uniform. In the British Navy it was originally a naval dagger worn, and used, by junior officers when boarding an enemy ship but it gradually developed as a ceremonial adjunct to the uniform worn on board. As a naval weapon it dates from the late 17th or early 18th century, the name probably coming from the Scottish dirk, or durk, a short sword worn by Highlanders.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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