Re: [Czechlist] Re: QUIZ: The Low-German Connection
>pistol (fr, pis^t^ala, thr. French or German)FWIW, here's Skeat's non-Slavic derivation of "pistol":
Pistol, a small hand-gun. (F.-Ital.)
F. pistole.-Ital. Pistola, 'a dag or pistoll;' Florio. We also find
M. Ital. pistolese, 'a great dagger,' in Florio; and it is agreed
that the name was first applied to a dagger, and thence transferred
to the pistol, which even in E. was at first called a dag (F. dague,
a dagger). A pistol is to a gun what a dagger is to a sword. [Greek
letter Beta]. The Ital. pistolese (=Late L. pistolensis) means
'belonging to Pistola'; so also Ital. pistola is from Pistola, now
called Pistoja, a town in Tuscany, near Florence. The Old Lat. name
of the town was Pistorium. See Scheler.
From A Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, by
the Rev. Walter W. Skeat, Litt.D., LL.D., D.C.L., Ph.D., first
published in 1882.
Personally, I find the connection to the town of Pistola plausible,
but not the leap from dagger to gun. (But what do I know?)
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