kind of machine gun designed to discharge a concentrated rapid fire of small projectiles from a group of rifled barrels, 1870, from French mitrailleuse (19c.), from French mitraille "small missile," especially grape, canister, etc., fired at close quarters (14c.), originally "small coins," hence "old iron, scrap iron," then "grapeshot;" a diminutive of mite "a small coin" (see mite (n.2)). "For sense development it should be borne in mind that orig. guns used to be loaded with scrap iron" [Klein]. Especially of a type of gun introduced in the French army in 1868 and first used in the Franco-Prussian War.
mid-14c., crustade, "meat or fruit pie, any dish baked in a crust" from Anglo-French croustade (Modern French coutarde), from Old Provençal croustado "fruit tart," literally "something covered with crust," from crosta "crust," from Latin crusta "rind, crust, shell, bark" (from PIE root *kreus- "to begin to freeze, form a crust").
In Middle English also crustard, custade, etc. Meaning shifted c. 1600 to "compound of eggs and milk, sweetened and baked or boiled." The spelling change (by mid-15c.) is perhaps by influence of mustard. OED notes that custard-pie (by 1825) was "commonly used as a missile in broad comedy."
1769, short for stella polaris, Modern Latin, literally "the pole star" (see polar). The ancient Greeks called it Phoenice, "the Phoenician (star)," because the Phoenicians used it for navigation. Due to precession of the equinoxes the pole was a few degrees off (closer to Beta Ursae Minoris), but evidently Polaris was close enough. Also see pole (n.2). The Old English word for it was Scip-steorra "ship-star," also reflecting its importance in navigation. As the name of a U.S. Navy long-range submarine-launched guided nuclear missile, it dates from 1957.
also arbalist, type of crossbow, c. 1300, from Old French arbaleste "large crossbow with a crank" (12c., Modern French arbalète), from Vulgar Latin *arbalista, from Late Latin arcuballista "catapult," from Latin arcus "bow" (see arc (n.)) + ballista "machine for throwing projectiles" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach"). German Armbrust is from the same French word but mangled by folk etymology. Related: Arbalester.
The missile of the arbalist was discharged with such force as to penetrate ordinary armor, and the weapon was considered so deadly as to be prohibited by a council of the church except in warfare against infidels. [Century Dictionary]
To be in the ballpark in the figurative sense of "within an acceptable range of approximation" is first recorded 1954, originally in the jargon of atomic weapons scientists, perhaps referring to the area within which a missile was expected to return to earth; the idea is broad but reasonably predictable dimensions. Hence ballpark (adj.) "approximate" (1967), of figures, etc.
The result, according to the author's estimate, is a stockpile equivalent to one billion tons of TNT. Assuming this estimate is "in the ball park," clearly there is valid reason for urging candor on the part of our government. [Ralph E. Lapp, "Atomic Candor," in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, October 1954]
"to bend, twist, distort," Old English weorpan "to throw, throw away, hit with a missile," from Proto-Germanic *werpanan "to fling by turning the arm" (source also of Old Saxon werpan, Old Norse verpa "to throw," Swedish värpa "to lay eggs," Old Frisian werpa, Middle Low German and Dutch werpen, German werfen, Gothic wairpan "to throw"), from PIE *werp- "to turn, wind, bend" (source also of Latin verber "whip, rod"), from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."
Connection between "turning" and "throwing" is perhaps in the notion of rotating the arm in the act of throwing; compare Old Church Slavonic vrešti "to throw," from the same PIE root. The meaning "twist out of shape" is first recorded c. 1400; intransitive sense is from mid-15c. Related: Warped; warping.
early 15c., "creed, summary, religious belief," from Late Latin symbolum "creed, token, mark," from Greek symbolon "token, watchword, sign by which one infers; ticket, a permit, licence" (the word was applied c. 250 by Cyprian of Carthage to the Apostles' Creed, on the notion of the "mark" that distinguishes Christians from pagans), literally "that which is thrown or cast together," from assimilated form of syn- "together" (see syn-) + bole "a throwing, a casting, the stroke of a missile, bolt, beam," from bol-, nominative stem of ballein "to throw" (from PIE root *gwele- "to throw, reach").
The sense evolution in Greek is from "throwing things together" to "contrasting" to "comparing" to "token used in comparisons to determine if something is genuine." Hence, "outward sign" of something. The meaning "something which stands for something else" first recorded 1590 (in "Faerie Queene"). As a written character, 1610s.
Old English bolt "short, stout arrow with a heavy head;" also "crossbow for throwing bolts," from Proto-Germanic *bultas (source also of Old Norse bolti, Danish bolt, Dutch bout, German Bolzen), perhaps originally "arrow, missile," and from PIE *bheld- "to knock, strike" (source also of Lithuanian beldžiu "I knock," baldas "pole for striking").
Applied since Middle English to other short metal rods (especially those with knobbed ends): meanings "stout pin for fastening objects together" and "part of a lock which springs out" are both from c. 1400. A bolt of canvas (c. 1400) was so called for its shape. Adverbial phrase bolt upright (like a bolt or arrow) is from late 14c. Meaning "sliding metal rod that thrusts the cartridge into the chamber of a firearm" is from 1859. From the notion of an arrow's flight comes the bolt of lightning (1530s) and the sense of "a sudden spring or start" (1540s).