from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A harpoon.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Whence it comes to pass that they often become food to us; for, when they swim close by the ships, they are struck by a broad instrument full of barbed points, called a harping-iron, to which a rope is fastened, by which to pull the instrument and the fish on board.
A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 09 Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea and Land, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time
The 1st of July we saw great store of porpoises, the master called for a harping-iron, and shot twice or thrice; sometimes he missed, and at last shot one and struck him in the side, and wound him into the ship; when we had him aboard, the master said it was a darley head.
It was stuck all over with a little shell-fish or reptile, called a barnacle, and which probably are the prey of the rockfish, as our captain calls it, asserting that it is the finest fish in the world; for which we are obliged to confide entirely to his taste; for, though he struck the fish with a kind of harping-iron, and wounded him, I am convinced, to death, yet he could not possess himself of his body; but the poor wretch escaped to linger out a few hours with probably great torments.