[WikiEN-l] deletionism in popular culture

Carcharoth carcharothwp at googlemail.com
Fri Oct 2 14:08:22 UTC 2009

On Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 2:21 PM, Steve Summit <scs at eskimo.com> wrote:
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/wikipedia/6250515/Wikipedia-20-articles-earmarked-for-deletion.html
> When a friend forwarded this I assumed it was going to be a
> depressing read, filled with useful gems which had been lost due
> to the cruel symbiosis between processmongering and deletionism,
> but you know, in these 20 cases at least, I think we got it right.

Some (at least one) are still being discussed at AfD. Shield mate is
looking at things the wrong way, but we should have an article on the
concept of shield-brothers. There is a recognised term for that.
Related to shield wall and shield bearer.


Ah. Sword brothers! That's the term I was looking for. Similar to the
Anglo-Saxon concept of a sister-son fighting to the death to defend
their mother's brother. Unfortunately, "sister-son" redirects to
"Nephew and niece" with only a brief and incomplete explication of
this. Tolkien used the theme of "sister-son" a lot (Theoden and Eomer,
Thorin and Fili and Kili, Turgon and Maeglin, Beorhtnoth and

Unfortunately, "Sword Brother" is a redirect to some novel.

I'm positive there is some recognised term for pairs of warriors
fighting together on the battlefield, each defending the other (strip
all the sexual content out of it, that is a red herring), but I can't
pin the name down.

It's almost like "blood brother", but not quite:


I've had another look, and I think it *is* "sword brother" I am thinking of:


"...Gunnar has unjustly slain his sword-brother and widowed his sister..."


"Another word, more widely applicable than þegn, which came to be
applied only to noblemen, was gesiþ. This can be understood as
companion, but it really means more than that, and also implies the
sworn sword-brother of the Heroic Code, which I shall mention
particularly in a moment."

But there is still a term that is eluding me. The concept of a central
bodyguard to defend an Anglo-Saxon king in battle. Housecarls or


But that's different again from the concept of a pair of warriors
working together to defend each other in a battle. I do think
"sword-brother" is the term I am looking for, and it is not quite what
is meant by "shield mate", but I think that concept is partially being
referenced here.

See also:



More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list