One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The plate on the butt end of a gunstock.
2A metal plate attached to the heel of a boot or shoe in order to prevent wear or provide traction.
3On an ice skate: a plate attaching the blade to the heel of the boot.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in The London Magazine. From heel + plate.
heel plate/ˈhiːl pleɪt/
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