from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A short pike carried by infantry officers and sergeants in the 18th century.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A pointed weapon similar to a pike.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A kind of half-pike, or halberd, formerly borne by inferior officers of the British infantry, and used in giving signals to the soldiers.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A kind of halberd or partizan formerly serving as the distinguishing arm for certain officers of the British infantry. Compare half-pike. Also called demi-pike.
A spontoon was a kind of half-pike, a military weapon carried by officers of infantry and used as a medium for signalling orders to the regiment.
Coming down to us ceremonially, the British infantry senior NCOs used what was called a spontoon, which was a badge of office and used for dressing the lines, among other things.
“I am just now like the half-pike, or spontoon of Achilles, one end of which could wound and the other cure — a property belonging neither to Spanish pike, brown-bill, partizan, halberd, Lochaber-axe, or indeed any other modern staff-weapon whatever.”
I would like to see some company make just spontoon heads that you could attach to wire.
If I could figure out how to affix the tip of the halberd, spontoon or whatever onto the piano wire, I might try that, but I think that you will be OK if you don't.
Frae the gilded spontoon tae the fife I was ready;
He was carrying a spontoon that he had picked up from a dead Connaught Sergeant.
A spontoon wounded his horse, but the Hussar held on.
The broad lance subsisted till lately in the halberd; the spear and framea in the long pike and spontoon; the missile weapons in the war hatchet, or North American tomahawk.
There are two ranges of them down the back, shaped exactly like the head of a spontoon, and opposite to the point of the scale has a little shank, about three tenths of an inch long, which the natives insert into the end of their arrows, making the scale serve for a head.