Roger from Asheville writes, “A good friend of mine has been collecting swords and small armor for years, and now that he’s retired, he’s started attending gun shows as a seller. He had business cards printed up that say he’s a hoplologist. Is this something he made up? He’s always had a quirky sense of humor.”
I’ll take your word about his sense of humor, but this is no joke. Your friend has an impressive vocabulary. Hoplology is the scientific study of weapons and armor, and a hoplologist is someone who pursues that study.
The base is the Greek word hoplon (ὅπλον), defined as a weapon or piece of armor. There is also a connection to a word meaning a hoof, the hoof being a type of protection for a foot.
In extended use, the word part –hoplo- is used to mean protected, and is frequently employed in Zoology.
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