Friday, January 27, 2012


Shrapnel \SHRAP-nl\ , noun;
1. Military: A hollow projectile containing bullets or the like and a bursting charge, designed to explode before reaching the target, and to set free a shower of missiles; such projectiles collectively
2. Shell fragments

Riddle me this: What do shrapnel, leotard, silhouette, and boycott have in common?

They all come from someone's name.

Shrapnel is first attested in 1806 from British General Henry Shrapnel, who invented the exploding shell during his time in the Royal Artillery during the Peninsular War. The surname Shrapnel dates to the 13th century and is believed to come from French Charbonnel, a diminutive form of Old French charbon ("charcoal"), in reference to complexion, hair color, or some other quality.

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