One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A pan for holding or carrying burning fuel; a brazier, a portable grate.
2Mining. An iron basket for holding burning coals which can be lowered down a shaft to create a current of air through the workings or to provide illumination. Now historical.
3A pan for holding the priming or powder in a firearm; = priming pan. Now historical.
Old English; earliest use found in The Epinal Glossary. Cognate with or formed similarly to Middle Dutch vuurpanne (Dutch vuurpan), Old Saxon fiurpanna (Middle Low German vǖrpanne), Middle High German viurphanne (German Feuerpfanne) from the Germanic base of fire + the Germanic base of pan.
fire pan/ˈfʌɪə pan/
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