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snaphaunce

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

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

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Origin of snaphaunce

First recorded in 1580–90; from Dutch snaphaan (or German Schnapphahn ) originally, “highwayman,” equivalent to snap(pen) “to snatch” + haan “rooster” (Dutch haan, German Hahn, parallel to English cock meaning both “rooster” and “hammer of a firearm”); source of the final s sound unclear; see snap, cock1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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