"claw of a bird of prey," late 15c., pownse, probably from Old French ponchon "lance, javelin; spine, quill" (Modern French poinçon; see punch (v.)). So called for being the "claws that punch" holes in things. In falconry, the heel claw is a talon, and others are pounces. Hence, "a stab, thrust" (c. 1400). In Middle English also the name of a tool for punching holes or embossing metal (late 14c.), from pounce (v.) in the special sense of "ornament by perforation." Clothing ornamented with cut-out figures was pounced.
fem. proper name, German, literally "battle-maid," from fem. of Old High German hild "war, battle, fight, combat," from Proto-Germanic *hildiz "battle" (source also of Old English (poetic) hild "war, battle," Old Saxon hild, Old High German hilt, Old Norse hildr), from PIE *keldh-, from root *kel- "to strike, cut" (see holt). Hild-/-hild was a common Germanic name-forming element; compare Hildebrand, Brunhild, Matilda.
Old English hild figured widely in kenning compounds: Hildbedd "deathbed;" hildegicel "blood dripping from a sword," literally "battle-icicle;" hildenædre "arrow, lance, spear," literally "war-adder;" hildesæd "weary of fighting, battle-worn," literally "battle-sad."
"staff of office peculiar to royalty or independent sovereignty," c. 1300, ceptre, from Old French ceptre, sceptre (12c.) and directly from Latin sceptrum "royal staff," from Greek skēptron "staff to lean on," in a Persian and Asian context, "royal scepter," in transferred use, "royalty," from root of skeptein "'to support oneself, lean; pretend something, use as a pretention." Beekes has this from a root *skap- (perhaps non-Indo-European) and compares Latin scapus "shaft, stalk," Albanian shkop "stick, scepter," Old High German skaft, Old Norse skapt, Old English sceaft "shaft, spear, lance" (see shaft (n.1)).
The verb meaning "to furnish with a scepter" is from 1520s; hence "invest with royal authority." Related: Sceptred.
Another etymology traces it through the obsolete noun lungis "slow, lazy person" (c. 1560), which is from French longis "an idle, stupid dreamer," a special application, for some obscure reason, in Old French of the proper name Longis, which is from Latin Longius, Longinus. In old mystery plays and apocryphal gospels, Longinus is the name of the centurion who pierces Christ's side with a spear; the name perhaps was suggested by Greek longe "a lance" in John xix.34. But popular etymology associated the name directly with long (adj.). Related: Lounged; lounging; lounger.
"single combat with lances by riders on horseback," c. 1300, from Old French joste "a jounst, single combat" (12c., Modern French joute), from joster "fight with, engage in single combat" (see joust (v.)). The sport was popular with Anglo-Norman knights; the usual form in Middle English and Old French was plural, in reference to a series of contests and the accompanying revelry.
These early tournaments were very rough affairs, in every sense, quite unlike the chivalrous contests of later days; the rival parties fought in groups, and it was considered not only fair but commendable to hold off until you saw some of your adversaries getting tired and then to join in the attack on them; the object was not to break a lance in the most approved style, but frankly to disable as many opponents as possible for the sake of obtaining their horses, arms, and ransoms. [L.F. Salzman, "English Life in the Middle Ages," Oxford, 1950]
medieval wind instrument, c. 1500, from French saquebute, a kind of bass trumpet with a slide like a trombone. The word is "presumably is identical with" [OED] Old North French saqueboute (14c.), "a lance with an iron hook for pulling down mounted men," based on resemblance, perhaps. That word is from Old North French saquier "to pull, draw" + second element perhaps bouter "to thrust" (from Proto-Germanic *buttan, from PIE root *bhau- "to strike").
Originally in English it had many variant spellings, including sagbutt, shakbott, shagbush. In Daniel iii.5, it is used wrongly to translate Aramaic (Semitic) sabbekha, the name of a stringed instrument (translated correctly in Septuagint as sambuke, and in Vulgate as sambuca, names of stringed instruments in those languages, and probably ultimately cognate with the Aramaic word). The error began with Coverdale (1535), who evidently thought it was a wind instrument and rendered it with shawm; the Geneva translators, evidently following Coverdale, chose sackbut because it sounded like the original Aramaic word, and this was followed in KJV and Revised.