One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A wooden stopper for the muzzle of a gun.
- ‘In this case it was the seaman responsible for opening the tampion who had forgotten to do his job.’
- ‘Repros of these are now available through several sutlers and are preferred over straight wood ‘plug’ type tampions.’
- ‘The sale will include 19 ship's bells and 22 ship's name boards, together with a small number of items such as tampions and honours boards.’
- ‘All that remains is the ship's bell, the wheel and some of the tompions that protected the barrels of her guns.’
- ‘Guns had been cleared and tampions taken from the guns' muzzles.’
2A plug for the top of an organ pipe.
Late Middle English: from French tampon ‘tampon’.
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