snaphaunce

[ snap-hans, -hahns ]
/ ˈsnæp hæns, -hɑns /

noun

an early flintlock mechanism for igniting a charge of gunpowder in a gun.

Origin of snaphaunce

1580–90; < Dutch snaphaan (or German Schnapphahn) orig., highwayman, equivalent to snap(pen) to snatch, snap + haan rooster (Dutch haan, German Hahn, parallel to cock1, mean both “rooster” and “hammer of a firearm”); source of final s unclear
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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