One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A type of chisel, typically made of bronze, which is shaped to fit into a split handle rather than having a socket for the handle.
- ‘It is characterized by developed bronze types including palstaves, flange-hilted swords, dirks with rounded or trapezoidal butts, and a variety of pins and bracelets.’
- ‘We thought the site was probably Middle Bronze Age (a palstave axe of that era had been found nearby), but we had no proof.’
- ‘Discoveries on a more human scale from those distant times included bronze spears, knives and palstaves and inscribed pots.’
- ‘A bracelet, necklace pendant (both unique in Britain), torc, beads and rings were buried in a plain pot beside two copper alloy palstaves and a chisel.’
- ‘Also found was an unbroken half of a two-part mould for a middle Bronze Age palstave, or flanged axe.’
Mid 19th century: from Danish paalstav, from Old Norse pálstavr, from páll ‘hoe’ (compare with Latin palus ‘stake’) + stafr ‘staff’.
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