The Blunderbuss is a short, muzzleloading smoothbore gun, similar to a musket or carbine but has a bigger barrel designed for multiple musketballs to be put in. It is considered to be a precursor to the shotgun. A blunderbuss in handgun shape was called a dragon which made way for the term dragoon.
Etymology[change | change source]
The term "blunderbuss" is from the Dutch language, from the Dutch word donderbuis, which is a fusion of donder, meaning "thunder", and buis, meaning "Pipe" (Middle Dutch: busse, box, tube, from Late Latin, buxis, box, from Ancient Greek pyxίs (πυξίς), box: esp. from boxwood).
The evolution from donder to blunder is thought by few to be done on purpose; the term blunder was originally used in a transitive sense, synonymous with to confuse, and this is thought to describe the stunningly loud sound of the large-bore, short-barreled blunderbuss. The term dragon is taken from detail of older models that were decorated with a carving in the shape of a dragon's head around the barrel; the muzzle blast would then give the impression of a fire-breathing dragon.
References[change | change source]