Prussian spiked helmet, 1875, from German Pickelhaube, from pickel "(ice)pick, pickaxe," + haube "hood, bonnet." But the German word is attested 17c., long before the helmet type came into use, and originally meant simply "helmet;" Palmer reports a German theory (Andresen) that it is a folk-etymology: "as if from Pickel and haube, a cap or coif[;] more correctly written Biekelhaube, [it] is for Beckelhaube, a word most probably derived from becken, a basin."

Nearby words

  1. pickax,
  2. pickaxe,
  3. picked,
  4. picked over,
  5. pickeer,
  6. pickens,
  7. pickens, andrew,
  8. pickens, fort,
  9. picker,
  10. picker-upper

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Examples from the Web for pickelhaube

  • They wore the regular German officer's uniform, except that the Pickelhaube was replaced by a khaki sun-helmet.

    With the Turks in Palestine|Alexander Aaronsohn