haft (n.)

Old English hæft "handle," especially of a cutting or thrusting instrument, related to hæft "fetter, bond; captive, slave," via a common notion of "a seizing, a thing seized," from Proto-Germanic *haftjam (source also of Old Saxon haft "captured;" Dutch hecht, Old High German hefti, German Heft "handle;" German Haft "arrest"), from PIE root *kap- "to grasp." To haven other haeftes in hand "have other hafts in hand" was a 14c.-15c. way of saying "have other business to attend to."

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