Etymology
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lob (v.)

"send up in a slow, high arc," 1869, of artillery shells; 1875 of tennis strokes, of uncertain origin, perhaps somehow from some sense in lob (n.). Earlier the verb meant "to throw slowly or gently" in bowling (1824) Related: Lobbed; lobbing. The noun in the "high, arcing throw or hit" sense (originally in tennis) is from 1875, from the verb.

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bracket (v.)

1797, of printed matter, "enclose in brackets," from bracket (n.). Also, "couple or connect with a brace" (1827), also figurative, "couple one thing with another" in writing (1807). Artillery rangefinding sense is from 1903, from the noun (1891) in the specialized sense "distance between the ranges of two shells, one under and one over the object." Related: Bracketed; bracketing. In home-building and joinery, bracketed is attested by 1801.

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bam (interj.)

imitative of the sound of a hard hit, first recorded 1922 (from 1917 as the sound of an artillery shell bursting). Middle English had a verb bammen "to hit or strike" (late 14c.). A literary work from c. 1450 represents the sound of repeated impact with Lus, bus! las, das!, and Middle English had lushe "a stroke, blow" (c. 1400); lushen "to strike, knock, beat" (c. 1300). Bam also was an old slang shortening of bamboozle (18c.).

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cannon (n.)

c. 1400, "artillery piece, mounted gun for throwing projectiles by force of gunpowder," from Anglo-French canon (mid-14c.), Old French canon (14c.), from Italian cannone "large tube, barrel," augmentative of Latin canna "reed, tube" (see cane (n.)). The double -n- spelling to differentiate it from canon is from c. 1800. Cannon fodder (1847) translates German kanonenfutter (compare Shakespeare's food for powder in "I Hen. IV").

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ordnance (n.)

"cannon and great guns collectively, artillery," 1540s, an old, clipped form of ordinance (q.v.) which word was attested from late 14c. in the sense of "military materials, provisions of war;" a sense now obsolete but which led to the specialized meanings "engines for discharging missiles" (early 15c.) and "branch of the military concerned with stores and materials" (late 15c.). The shorter word was established in these distinct senses by 17c.

The Ordnance survey (1833), an official geographical survey of Great Britain and Ireland, was undertaken by the government under the direction of the Master-General of the Ordnance (the natural choice, gunners being thoroughly trained in surveying ranges and distances).

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broadside (n.)

"side of a ship" (technically, "the side of a ship above the water, between the bow and the quarter"), 1590s, from broad (adj.) + side (n.); thus "the artillery on one side of a ship all fired off at once" (1590s, with figurative extensions). Two words until late 18c.

In reference to things other than ships, 1630s. But the oldest-recorded sense in English is "sheet of paper printed on one side only" (1570s). As an adverb by 1870; as an adjective by 1932. As a verb from 1930, "skid sideways" (intransitive); transitive sense "strike broadside, collide with the side of" is by 1970.

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shrapnel (n.)

1806, "a shell filled with bullets and s small bursting charge," from the name of Gen. Henry Shrapnel (1761-1842), who invented such a shell as a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery during the Peninsular War. The invention consisted of a hollow cannon ball, filled with shot, which burst in mid-air in front of the enemy; his name for it was spherical case ammunition.

The modern erroneous use in reference to what are properly shell fragments is from 1940 and the Blitz. The surname is attested from 13c., and is believed to be a metathesized form of Charbonnel, a diminutive form of Old French charbon "charcoal," in reference to complexion, hair color, or some other quality.

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salvo (n.)

1719, an alteration of salva (1590s) "simultaneous discharge of guns, intended as a salute," from Italian salva "salute, volley" (French salve, 16c., is from Italian), from Latin salve "hail!," literally "be in good health!," the usual Roman greeting. It was regarded as the imperative of salvere "to be in good health," but it is properly the vocative of salvus "healthy" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept").

The notion is of important visitors greeted with a volley of gunfire into the air; the word was applied afterward to any concentrated fire from a number of guns, originally artillery pieces (of firearms by 18c.). As a verb by 1839. The same noun in the Latin sense, via Medieval Latin, came into English in senses common 17c.-18c. but archaic now: "a saving clause or provision; a solution or explanation; an expedient," etc.

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malkin (n.)

also mawkin, late 13c., a jocular or contemptuous term for a servant-woman or kitchen-servant, a woman of the lower classes, or a slattern, a loose woman; from the fem. proper name Malkyn, a diminutive of Mault "Maud" (see Matilda). It also is attested from c. 1200 as the proper name of a female specter. Sense of "untidy woman" probably led to the extended meaning "mop, bundle of rags on a stick" (used to clean ovens, artillery pieces, etc.), c. 1400.

Attested as the name of a cat since 1670s (earlier as Grimalkin, late 16c.); compare Serbo-Croatian mačka "cat," originally a pet-name form of Maria. Also used in Scotland and northern England as the name of a hare (1724).

MALKINTRASH. One in dismal garb. [Grose, "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," London, 1785]
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scream (v.)

late Old English, scræmen, scremen, "utter a piercing cry, cry out with a shrill voice," a word of uncertain origin, similar to words in Scandinavian, Dutch, German, and Flemish (such as Old Norse skræma "to terrify, scare away," skramsa "to scream;" Swedish scrana "to scream," Middle Dutch schremen, scremen, Dutch schreijen "cry aloud, shriek," Old High German scrian, German schreien "to cry"). Related: Screamed; screaming.

Of inanimate things by 1784 (fiddle music). The sense of "communicate (something) strongly" is by 1957. Screaming meemies is World War I army slang, originally a soldiers' name for a type of German artillery shell that made a loud noise in flight (from French woman's name Mimi), extended to the battle fatigue caused by long exposure to enemy fire.

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