early 15c., prange "sharp point or pointed instrument;" mid-15c., pronge "agony, pain," from Anglo-Latin pronga "prong, pointed tool," of unknown origin, perhaps related to Middle Low German prange "stick, restraining device," prangen "to press, pinch." See also prod, which might be related. The sense of "each pointed division of a fork" is by 1690s. Prong-horned antelope is from 1815 (short form pronghorn attested from 1826).
updated on December 07, 2020