Etymology
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epee (n.)
1889, from French épée, literally "sword" from Old French espe (9c., spede) "spear, lance," from Latin spatha (see epaulet).
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spatula (n.)
1520s (from early 15c. as a type of medical instrument), from Latin spatula "broad piece, spatula," diminutive of spatha "broad, flat tool or weapon," from Greek spathe "broad flat blade (used by weavers)" (see spade (n.1)). Erroneous form spattular is attested from c. 1600.
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epaulet (n.)
also epaulette, "shoulder ornament on a uniform," 1783, from French épaulette "an epaulet" (16c.), diminutive of épaule "shoulder," from Old French espaule (12c.), from Latin spatula "flat piece of wood, splint," in Medieval Latin "shoulder blade," diminutive of spatha "broad wooden instrument, broad sword," from Greek spathe "a broad flat sword" (see spade (n.1)).
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spay (v.)

early 15c., "stab with a sword, kill," also "remove the ovaries of (a hunting dog)," from Anglo-French espeier "cut with a sword," Old French espeer, espaer, from espee "sword" (Modern French épée), from Latin spatha "broad, flat weapon or tool," from Greek spathē "broad blade" (see spade (n.1)). Related: Spayed; spaying.

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spade (n.2)

black figure on playing cards," 1590s, probably from Italian spade, plural of spada "the ace of spades," literally "sword, spade," from Latin spatha "broad, flat weapon or tool," from Greek spathe "broad blade" (see spade (n.1)). Phrase in spades "in abundance" first recorded 1929 (Damon Runyon), probably from bridge, where spades are the highest-ranking suit.

The invitations to the musicale came sliding in by pairs and threes and spade flushes. [O.Henry, "Cabbages & Kings," 1904]

Derogatory meaning "black person" is 1928, from the color of the playing card symbol.

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