One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Either of the two arms forming the cross-guard of a sword or dagger; usually in plural.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Richard Burton (1821–1890), explorer and author. From French quillon, lit. ‘little ninepin’ (so called from the shape of the piece, which resembles that of a ninepin) from quille ninepin + -on.
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