Middle English Excalaber, from Old French Escalibor, Escaliborc, prothetic form of Calliborc, alteration of Calibourne, from Medieval Latin Caliburnus (Geoffrey of Monmouth, ca. 1136), influenced by calibs ‘steel’ (for chalybs), alteration of Old Welsh *Caledbulch (cf. modern Caledfwlch), compound of caled ‘hard’ and bwlch ‘cleft, crack’. Related to the Irish legendary sword Caladbolg, literally ‘hard-belly’, i.e. ‘voracious’.
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