For Historical Fencing researchers, references of the term in the Fechtschulen are in several places. The Ordinances of the City of Breslau (9 September 1606) for one place, and note the several mentions ’ found in Wöchentliche Nachrichten für Freunde Geschichte (Büsching, 1817, p313).
I think of the term as, the “action keeper/ or guard”.
This is an excerpt found in Part One of The Forerunners of the Fechtschule: Antiquity. Available from: Research Gate.
(lit. Board) was the name of the miniaturized brotschießel like rod with one end being thin and flat serving as its ‘striking’ surface, described further as ‘…often preposterously large of leather or of split clacking wood and sometimes gilded…’ (Freytag, 1863, p152).
The Pritsch was held and employed by the master of ceremonies (Pritschenmeister) of Schützenfest and Fechtschule. They were part announcer, jester, entertainer, and disciplinarian for these events.
For more look to the Nouveau Dictionnaire Allemand-François entry on ‘Pritchmeister’ (1762, p451), and the entry entitled ‘Pritschenmeister’ in Reallexikon Der Deutschen Altertümer Götzinger (1885, p812); review the biographies in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie of XVI century Pritschenmeister Lienhard Flexel (vol. 7, 1878, p119) and Heinrich Wirrich (vol. 55, 1910, p385-387).
For descriptions of the Pritschenmeister role in the Schützenfest of the era see the Pritschenmeister for Archduke of Austria Ferdinand II in the work entitled ‘Ordentliche gründliche Beschreibung des großen Schießen Stahloder Armbrust Zwickaw den 25 Augusti’ (Siber, 1574) and chapter three of Georgiana Malcolm’s translation of Gustav Freytag’s ‘Pictures of German Life in the XVIIIth and XIXth Centuries’ (1863, pp134–186).
lit. to tempt/ to attack (Dasypodius, 1535, 144r1 and 218r1), or a seizing action. As a fencing term, Master Meyer often used it with the meaning of one’s a first attack, an inciting action seeking the opponent’s reaction, while seizing the Vor.
Let us remember Peter Dasypodius who died in Straßburg this day in 1559. His works have been a boon to researchers and translators the world over. He of course also holds a special place in the hearts of Historical Fencing researchers and translators!
If you are unfamiliar with him or his works, or just not sure why he is important, please read the follow excerpt:
Reference to the two page excerpt above: Smet, Gilbert A.R. de, ‘Dasypodius, Peter’, in Lexicon Grammaticorum: A Bio-Bibliographical Companion to the History of Linguistics, ed. by Harro Stammerjohann, 2nd edn (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2009), pp. 375–358. ISBN 978-3-484-73068-7