medieval weapon (a broad blade with sharp edges, ending in a point and mounted on a long handle), late 15c., from Middle French hallebarde (earlier alabarde, 15c.), from Middle High German halmbarte "broad-axe with handle," from halm "handle" (see helm) + barte "hatchet," which is possibly from Proto-Germanic *bardoz "beard," also "hatchet, broadax." Alternative etymology [Kluge, Darmesteter] traces first element to helm "helmet," making the weapon an axe for smashing helmets. In 15c.-16c. especially the arm of foot-soldiers.
half seas over
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