The girls in the office were having a little discussion about fencing, and one said the sword was called a foil, one didn’t believe it and, as what usually happens in situations such as these, they came to me for the answer, as I am an avid reader of TSD).
"It’s called a foil or an epée,” I quickly said.
They both screamed: one in triumph, the other defeat.
Then the defeated one asked “Why?”
“Umm…” I say.
So I quickly hopped over to http://www.m-w.com and looked up “foil”
I find the definition referring to fencing and it says
“Etymology: origin unknown”
So I gave her a WAG based on the following:
[li]Foil does refer to a thin metal.[/li][li]Foil is also used to describe someone(thing) that counters you.[/li][li]In fencing you use a thin, metal instrument to counter your opponent.[/li][/ul]**
Anyone out there in the teeming millions have a more definite etymology? Or have I hit the nail on the head?