One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small firearm; = "pistol". Now rare.
2A small bread roll, originally from Belgium.
A Spanish gold escudo; (also) a Spanish double-escudo; = "pistole". Also occasionally: any of various other gold coins of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Mid 16th century. From Middle French pistolet small firearm, pistol, apparently from pistole (although this is first attested slightly later) + -et; compare also slightly earlier pistolet<br>mid 16th century. From French † pistolet, of uncertain origin; perhaps the same word as pistolet (although this is first attested slightly later), with reference to the small size of the coins.
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