1864, named for its designer, U.S. inventor Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903); patented by 1862 but not used in American Civil War until the Petersburg campaign of June 1864 as an independent initiative by U.S. Gen. Ben Butler.
For the first time in this war, the Gatling gun was used by Butler in repelling one of Beauregard's midnight attacks. Dispatches state that it was very destructive, and rebel prisoners were very curious to know whether it was loaded all night and fired all day. [Scientific American, June 18, 1864]
single-barreled water-cooled machine gun, 1885 (Maxim gun), named for inventor, U.S.-born British engineer Sir Hiram S. Maxim (1840-1916).
"British soldier," 1884, from Thomas Atkins, since 1815 the typical sample name for filling in army forms. Tommy gun (1929) is short for Thompson gun (see Thompson). Soon extended to other types of sub-machine gun, especially those favored by the mob.
type of sub-machine gun, 1919, named for U.S. Gen. John T. Thompson (1860-1940), who conceived it and whose company financed it. Familiarly Tommy gun by 1929.
type of rifle or submachine gun, 1968, from Russian Kalashnikov, name of a weapon developed in the Soviet Union c. 1946 and named for Mikhail Kalashnikov, gun designer and part of the team that built it. In AK-47, the AK stands for Avtomat Kalashnikov.
type of light, rapid-fire submachine gun, 1942, from initials of surnames of designers R.V. Shepherd and H.J. Turpin + En(field); compare Bren.
1959, trademark name for Israeli-made submachine gun, developed by Usiel Gal (1923–2002), and manufactured by IMI.
1878, type of machine gun named for its inventor, U.S. armaments-maker Benjamin B. Hotchkiss (1826-1885). In Japanese, the word for "stapler" is hotchikisu after the E. H. Hotchkiss Company of Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S., early and prominent manufacturer of staplers (incorporated 1895, name from 1897), which apparently was run by relatives of the gun inventor. The surname (attested from late 15c. as Hochekys) is a variant of Hodgkin.
literally (one who or that which) "fears nothing," from the verbal phrase (drede ich nawiht is attested from c. 1200); see dread (v.) + nought (n.). As a synonym for "battleship" (1916) it is from a specific ship's name. Dreadnought is mentioned as the name of a ship in the Royal Navy as early as c. 1596, but the modern generic sense is from the name of the first of a new class of British battleships, based on the "all big-gun" principle (armed with 10 big guns rather than 4 large guns and a battery of smaller ones), launched Feb. 18, 1906.