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Prince Rupert's drop

a glass bead in the shape of a teardrop, a by-product of the glass-making process, formed by molten glass falling into water. The body of the drop can withstand great force, for example a hammer blow, but the whole will explode if the tail is nipped or the surface scored
Word Origin
C17: thought to have been introduced to England by Prince Rupert, the German-born nephew of Charles I of England
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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