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Origin of the term "Armskote"

#1
What is the origin of the term "Armskote" for armoury? Can it mean something other than "armoury" such as the contents of the armoury rather than the armoury itself.

Googling revealed nothing helpful except that it's the common term in Singapore!

Oh, and Armscote with a "c" is a village in Warwickshire...
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#2
Twas always spelt with a C in my mob! Maybe like a dovecote?
 
#3
I'm thinking Indian. Spellt with a K, Come on Ugly your mob spelt sergent with a j
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
Only the post options for change 1st Bn which was mainly the old second Bn. My mob spelt it with a G Come on Somerset and Cornwall!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#6
Its just those northern monkeys that kant shpell propurley den!
 
#7
Princeton online dictionary said:
S: (n) cote (a small shelter for domestic animals (as sheep or pigeons))
Might this be a clue? Way back when the Fyrd (I think this is the right period but don't quote me) was in vogue, the weapons were furnished by the parish and kept centrally, sometimes in the church. Armscote could have rural origins as it seems to mean a small enclosure in which to keep things safe.

Just a thought.
 
#8
stickybomb said:
Princeton online dictionary said:
S: (n) cote (a small shelter for domestic animals (as sheep or pigeons))
Might this be a clue? Way back when the Fyrd (I think this is the right period but don't quote me) was in vogue, the weapons were furnished by the parish and kept centrally, sometimes in the church. Armscote could have rural origins as it seems to mean a small enclosure in which to keep things safe.

Just a thought.
I had wondered that myself. I suspect that the "c" or "k" would be just variations if you go back far enough.

An Indian origin sounds plausible.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#10
Thinking back the armscote was a seperate building but the armoury was a room inside another building. Perhaps its the seperation that counts. I didnt here the word Armscote after leaving the regs as all the TA drill halls had internal armouries.
 
#11
Cpl_ripper said:
I'm thinking Indian. Spellt with a K, Come on Ugly your mob spelt sergent with a j
You could be rght there with many terms in the British Army's lexicon originating from India. The word 'kotta' means fort.
 
#12
Bonzo_Dog said:
Cpl_ripper said:
I'm thinking Indian. Spellt with a K, Come on Ugly your mob spelt sergent with a j
You could be rght there with many terms in the British Army's lexicon originating from India. The word 'kotta' means fort.
Interesting. Arms Fort makes sense - especially with a stand alone armoury.
 
#13
I'm sure it is spelled with a "k", and I believe it to be Gurkhali/ indian in origin.
 
#14
I always saw it spelt with a 'c' as in Armscote, but then I was in the Royal Signals, we just know about wiggly amps and things ;)
 
#16
Now, there's a thing.

No sign of Kote anywhere, not even in my thunping great dictionary that I use to press the flowers that I collect on training areas. (I don't really).

I've always understood Kote to mean a small, secure room. Hence an Arms Kote at the TAC would be such a room where weapons are stored. In barracks, weapons are generally stored in a purpose-built building called an armoury - evidently a left-over from the days when an armoury was for storing armour. So there is a significant difference.

The suggestions put that the word may have originated in India led me to Google some Urdu-English on-line translation sites. While I didn't have much joy with "Kote," I did come up with the word "Kotha." With a bit of imagination, presuming that the word is pronounced "coat-ah," it wouldn't be too difficult to believe that British squaddie ears in the past have heard the word as "Kote," the "ah" merely being an Indian servant's accent creeping through.

This theory hinges on the meaning of Kotha. The translation site that I came across gives it's meaning as barn or loft, which is just plausible, if you give a bit of leeway, allowing these to be a simple description for a small storage facility attached to a building.
http://www.geocities.com/urdudict/k/ko.htm

Once you accept that the first weapon store in India may well have been a locked barn and add in foreign accents and the cloth ears of British servicemen, you can see that Kote may well have been derived from an Indian word.

I'm going to stick with the theory until somebody else comes up with something better.





Oh, by the way, Kotha also means brothel or whorehouse, so it would seem essential that the word would be adopted by the Army.
 
#17
So presumably the brothel would be a cnutkote?

I like your thinking.
 
#20
hackle said:
Busterdog said:
Always with a K in the Scottish infantry.
arms khote
In 1960, 1 PWO were stationed at Windmill Hill Barracks in Gibraltar. When my father indulged my schoolboy fantasies with a conducted tour of the A (Trg) Coy armoury, the sign on the door identified this building as the Arms Khote. By the time I joined up 4yrs later, all such buildings were called Armouries. When I asked my old man about it, his opinion was that Arms Khote was an old British Army usage from Indian service, frowned upon by the REME Armourers of later years.

Cheers,
Cliff
 

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