E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
He gives pap with a hatchet. He does or says a kind thing in a very brusque and ungracious manner. The Spartan children were fed by the point of a sword, and the Teuton children with hatchets, or instruments so calledprobably of the doll type. Ursus, in Victor Hugos novel of LHomme qui Rit, gives pap with a hatchet.