from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The material of which gun-wads are made.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
"Once upon a time," the great unknown being engaged in a shooting-match near his dwelling, it came to pass that all the gun-wadding was spent, so that he was obliged to fetch _paper_ instead.
Often there were fifty or more men, and they came bringing their long rifles, horns of powder, pouches made of skin in which were lead and bullet molds, cups of caps, cotton gun-wadding, carrying turkeys, driving beeves and sheep, which were to be the prizes.
That prairie, which stretched under the hot sunshine unbroken to the rim of heaven; that brown grass glowing with an almost phosphorescent light as it curled close to the mother sod; -- a careless match, a cigar stub, a bit of gun-wadding, and in an afternoon a million acres of pasture land would carry not enough foliage to feed a gopher.
Of course, they had to ask him about his pardner and the rest of it whilst the cards were being shuffled, and a few inquiring remarks drew the whole sad story out of Ag. "It's mighty tough," says he; "Hy's a fine-looking feller, when he's dressed decent; but the sight of new clothes on himself makes him furious; he foams and rips till he's tore them to gun-wadding."
But when has any one seen a crackle, or a swingling-knife, or a hetchel, or a distaff, and where can one get some tow for strings or for gun-wadding, or some swingling-tow for a bonfire?