spontoon


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spon·toon

 (spŏn-to͞on′)
n.
A short pike carried by infantry officers and sergeants in the 1700s.

[French sponton, from Italian spuntone : s-, intensive pref.; see sforzando + puntone, kind of weapon, augmentative of punto, point (from Latin pūnctum, from neuter past participle of pungere, to pierce, prick; see peuk- in Indo-European roots).]

spontoon

(spɒnˈtuːn)
n
(Arms & Armour (excluding Firearms)) a form of halberd carried by some junior infantry officers in the 18th and 19th centuries
[C18: from French esponton, from Italian spuntone, from punto point]

spon•toon

(spɒnˈtun)

n.
a short pike used as a weapon in the 17th and 18th centuries.
[1590–1600; < French esponton]
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References in classic literature ?
I remember when in my younger days I had heard of the wonders of Italian painting, I fancied the great pictures would be great strangers; some surprising combination of color and form; a foreign wonder, barbaric pearl and gold, like the spontoons and standards of the militia, which play such pranks in the eyes and imaginations of school-boys.
For some reason, Kris didn't want a pipe tomahawk, and especially not a spontoon type tomahawk, even though historic photos showed Comanches had a preference for spontoon heads.
An ensign, seeking to avenge the Gefreiter's death, was harrying the old man with a long spontoon (something between a pike and ax, now obsolete in the infantry though still used in the navy).
We all started off on a run, and as I couldn't see anything, I said, "I don't see what the devil we're running after or running away from; for I can't see anything." One of the officers behind me said, "Run, you little dog, or I'll spontoon you." "Well," I answered, "I guess I can run as fast as you can and as far." Pretty soon I found they were going to surprise a British train.
The Emperor approved individual appointments and designed their special weapons: a spontoon, a short sword and two pistols carried in an open breast holster.
In the Revolutionary War, and even as late as our Civil War, specially designated American soldiers did march into battle carrying flags, sometimes on flagstaffs called "spontoons"--essentially half-pikes with pointed steel lance-heads on the business ends, which could be used as weapons of last resort.