Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Pis’tols.

 Pistol.Pistris, Pistrix, Pristis, or Pristrix. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Pis’tols.
 
So called from Pistoja, in Tuscany, where they were invented in 1545. (Latin, pistorium.)   1
   To discharge one’s pistol in the air. To fight a man of straw; to fight harmlessly in order to make up a foolish quarrel.   2
        “Dr. Réyille has discharged his pistol in the air [that is, he pretends to fight against me, but discharges his shot against objections which I never made].”—W. E. Gladstone: Nineteenth Century, November, 1885.
 


 Pistol.Pistris, Pistrix, Pristis, or Pristrix. 

 
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