He considered a grate-bar from a heating furnace, and then he found the poleax, lying among a pile of wormeaten boards.
kind of axe used as a weapon or by butchers, c.1300, pollax, from pol "head" (see poll (n.)) + ax (n.). From notion of beheading or head-splitting, or perhaps from the shape of the ax. Spelling altered 17c. by confusion with pole (n.1)).