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puncheon1

[puhn-chuh n]
noun
  1. a large cask of varying capacity, but usually 80 gallons (304 liters).
  2. the volume of such a cask, used as a measure.
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Origin of puncheon1

1425–75; Middle English ponchoun, punchon < Middle French ponçon, perhaps to be identified with puncheon2

puncheon2

[puhn-chuh n]
noun
  1. a heavy slab of timber, roughly dressed, for use as a floorboard.
  2. a short, upright framing timber.
  3. (in goldsmith work)
    1. any of various pointed instruments; a punch.
    2. a stamping tool.
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Origin of puncheon2

1325–75; Middle English ponson, punçon, ponchoun < Middle French ponçon < Latin pūnctiōn- (stem of pūnctiō) a pricking, hence, pricking tool, equivalent to pūnct(us) (past participle of pungere to prick; cf. point) + -iōn- -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for puncheon

Historical Examples

  • This was called rolling-up a house, and the house was called a puncheon and bark house.

    Home Life in Colonial Days

    Alice Morse Earle

  • It was covered with clapboards and furnished with puncheon seats.

    The Kentucky Ranger

    Edward T. Curnick

  • This projected about a foot, and a puncheon roof was put over that.

  • Fig. 277 shows a fireplace with a puncheon support for a plank mantel.

  • C is the puncheon supporting the mantel and D is the mantel.


British Dictionary definitions for puncheon

puncheon1

noun
  1. a large cask of variable capacity, usually between 70 and 120 gallons
  2. the volume of such a cask used as a liquid measure
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Word Origin

C15 poncion, from Old French ponchon, of uncertain origin

puncheon2

noun
  1. a short wooden post that is used as a vertical strut
  2. a less common name for punch 2 (def. 1)
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Word Origin

C14 ponson, from Old French ponçon, from Latin punctiō a puncture, from pungere to prick
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for puncheon

n.1

"barrel or cask for soap or liquor; iron vessel," c.1400, from Old French ponchon, ponson "wine vessel" (13c.), of unknown origin. Uncertain connection with puncheon "slab of timber, strut, wooden beam used as a support in building" (mid-14c.). Punch (n.2) in the drink sense is too late to be the source of the "cask" sense.

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n.2

"pointed tool for punching or piercing" used by masons, also "die for coining or seal-making," mid-14c.; see punch (n.1). Meaning "stamp, die" is from c.1500, a specialized use.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper