battle-axe, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special sense of general English.
A weapon traditionally carried by African men, usually having a triangular blade.
1841 B. Shaw Memorials 49Their weapons are the keerie, battle-axe, and assagai; which last differs somewhat from that of the Bechuanas and Kaffirs.
1846 R. Moffat Missionary Labours 91A quiver containing poisoned arrows, is hung from the shoulder, and a battle-axe is held in his right hand.
1866 J. Leyland Adventures 65The battle-axe is ingeniously formed in the shape of a triangle, and fastened to an handle made of hard wood, or from the horn of the Rhinoceros.
1896 H.A. Bryden Tales of S. Afr. 162In front of a large..circular hut were gathered some thirty headmen of various ages, all standing, and all armed with long spears, battle-axes, or bows and arrows.
1961 T.V. Bulpin White Whirlwind 248From the work places of the armourers came the ominous swishing sound they made as they sharpened the points of spears, or the edges and barbs of battle-axes.
1975 D. Woods in Daily Dispatch 13 June 12The young men..pick up their battle-axes and set out singing to chop up a rival gang from another area...The battle-axes are home-made. The blade is a sharpened piece of iron..with one end hammered firmly round the end of a wooden shaft.
1991 [see Maclennan quot. at Natal code Natal sense a].
A weapon traditionally carried by African men, usually having a triangular blade.

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18411975