Etymology
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coppice (n.)

late 14c., coppes, "small thicket of trees and brushes grown for periodic cutting for fuel," from Old French copeiz, coupeiz "a cut-over forest," from Vulgar Latin *colpaticium "having been cut," ultimately from Latin colaphus "a blow with the fist," from Greek kolaphos "blow, cuff" (see coup).

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punching (n.)

c. 1400, "the cutting out of figures;" early 15c. as "the action of delivering blows with the fist," verbal noun from punch (v.). Related: Punching-bag "bag, generally large and heavy, suspended from the ceiling to be punched by an athlete, especially a boxer, for training or exercise" is by 1889 (also punch-bag); the figurative sense is attested by 1903.

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tai chi (n.)
1736, the "supreme ultimate" in Taoism and Neo-Confucianism, from Chinese tai "extreme" + ji "limit." As the name of a form of martial arts training (said to have been developed by a priest in the Sung dynasty, 960-1279) it is first attested 1962, in full, tai chi ch'uan, with Chinese quan "fist."
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pugilist (n.)

"one who fights with the fists," 1789, from Latin pugil "boxer, fist-fighter," related to pugnus "a fist" (from suffixed form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick") + -ist. For sense development, compare punch (v.), also from a root meaning "to pierce." Related: Pugilistic "of or pertaining to fighting with the fists" (1789); pugilistically.

Pugil (n.) occasionally turns up in English as "boxer, fist-fighter" (17c.-18c), but it has not caught on; earlier it meant "a little handful or a big pinch" of something (1570s). Pugil stick (1962) was introduced by U.S. military as a substitute for rifles in bayonet drills.

UNTIL recently bayonet training has lacked realism. Bayonet instruction consisted of basic positions and movements, the fundamentals of bayonet fighting, and a practical examination conducted on the Bayonet Assault Course. This training is essential for the combat Infantryman; however, he completes his training without knowing what an actual bayonet fight is like. The dummies used in training cannot fight back or take evasive action. The only true test of an Infantryman's skill with bayonet is vicious, close combat against an armed opponent. [Lt. Wendell O. Doody, "Pugil, Man, Pugil!" in Infantry magazine, Nov.-Dec. 1962]
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haymaker (n.)
mid-15c. as the name of an agricultural occupation, "one who cuts and dries grass" (hay-making is attested from c. 1400); 1910 in the sense of "very strong blow with the fist," from hay + agent noun of make; the punch probably so called for resemblance to the wide swinging stroke of a scythe. Haymaker punch attested from 1907.
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punishment (n.)

late 14c., punishement, in law, "the assessing or inflicting of pain, suffering, loss, confinement, etc. on a person for a crime or offense," from Anglo-French punisement (late 13c.), Old French punissement, from punir (see punish).

From early 15c. as "suffering or hardship inflicted as punishment;" mid-15c. as "a penalty or sentence imposed as punishment." Gradually extended to "pain or injury inflicted" in a general sense; the meaning "rough handling" is from 1811, originally in fist-fighting.

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lodge (v.)
c. 1200, loggen, "to encamp (an army), set up camp;" c. 1300 "furnish with a temporary habitation, put in a certain place," from Old French logier "to lodge; find lodging for" (12c., Modern French loger), from loge "hut, cabin" (see lodge (n.)).

From late 14c. as "to dwell, live; to have temporary accommodations; to provide (someone) with sleeping quarters; to get lodgings." Sense of "plant, implant, get (a spear, bullet, fist, etc.) in the intended place, to make something stick" is from 1610s. Meaning "deposit" (a complaint, etc.) with an official" is from 1708. Related: Lodged; lodging.
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left-handed (adj.)
late 14c., of persons, "having the left hand stronger or more capable than the right;" 1650s of tools, etc., "designed for use with the left hand," from left (adj.) + -handed. In 15c. it also could mean "maimed." Sense of "underhanded" is from early 17c., as in left-handed compliment (1787, also attested 1855 in pugilism slang for "a punch with the left fist"), as is that of "illicit" (as in left-handed marriage, for which see morganatic; 17c. slang left-handed wife "concubine"). Related: Left-handedly; left-handedness.
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pummel (v.)

"to beat or strike repeatedly, especially with the fist," 1540s, alteration of pommel (q.v.) in a verbal sense of "to beat repeatedly" with or as with a pommel or something thick and bulky. In early use pumble, poumle; the current spelling prevails from c. 1600, but the spelling alteration appears to be random, as the verb is merely the noun repurposed and they were pronounced the same. Originally often used alliteratively with pate (n.1) "head" as its object. Related: Pummeled; pummeling.

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poindexter (n.)

"nerdy intellectual," by 1986, U.S. teenager slang, from the character Poindexter, introduced 1959 in the made-for-TV cartoon version of "Felix the Cat." The name originally was a surname, said to be Norman.

There is a rare name Poindexter, appearing in French as Poingdestre, "right fist." I have seen it explained as from the heraldic term point dexter, but it is rather to be taken literally. I find Johannes cum pugno in 1184, and we can imagine that such a name may have been conferred on a medieval bruiser. [Weekley, "The Romance of Names," 1914]
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