Weapon Name Puzzle

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Which weapon was named after a fruit?

Which two weapons' names come from Czech?

Which weapon was named after a Norse woman's name?

Which two weapons share the same name, though they are about as different as weapons can be? [UPDATE: Some of the commenters were discussing various weapons systems that fit this, and I appreciate their points; but I'd like to limit this question to personal weapons, of the sort that one person would carry.]

None of these, except for one of the two weapons from the last question, is a brand name.


NEXT: New York Charged Grafton Thomas With Attempted Murder for Assaulting Jews With a Machete. Why Are the Feds Prosecuting Him for the Same Attack?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Grenade is named after a fruit.

    1. Correct.

    2. Also grapeshot.

  2. The German’s in WWII had a radar system named after Freya. I guess that is a weapon.

  3. My dad used to talk about being trained to show pineapples, which was a type of hand grenade. Is this what you mean?

    And assuming one uses a bombe in a pie fight, I guess that dessert is pretty different from an actual bomb. (But, since it’s obviously not a brand name, obviously not what you’re thinking of.)

    1. um, throw pineapples, not show them.

    2. “grenade” is a word for pomegranate.

    3. The U.S. Mk. 2 hand grenade was called a pineapple.

  4. I like claymore or tomahawk for the 4th one; probably quite a few more possibilities.

    1. Trident, certainly.

    2. Respectfully, I think a weapon that is named after another weapon is not what was intended.

      1. I am not so sure about that interpretation of the intent.

        In any event, both the Scottish claymore and the antipersonnel mine are readily carried on ones person. (Ok, the same applies to “mace”, but I think here too the spray was named with the heavy iron thing in mind).

        I vote for claymore, on the general principle that a sword is not much like a mine. And also I have been confused by the similarity before; not so much with “mace”.

        1. Look, I agree, the offered answer does fit the question. I just don’t think it’s the answer the Professor was looking for.

          1. Plus he said one of the two is a brand name.

  5. 4. A claymore is both a Scottish sword and an antipersonnel mine.

  6. Javelin is the name of a missile and a…thrown weapon.

    1. Its predecessor is named after a weapon useful for violently reclaiming one’s birthright.

  7. Which weapon was named after a fruit?

    Banana, of course.


  8. Carl Gustaf refers to both a man-portable anti-tank weapon and a submachinegun.

    1. The two I have in mind are more different from each other than those two are.

  9. I think the last one is mace.

    1. Nice. The third one is gun.

      1. Right.

    2. Indeed.

  10. Fruit: pineapple grenade

    Czech: Bren machine gun and the small arms maker CZ? Hedgehogs are too big to be carried on one’s person.

    Norse woman’s name: no idea

    Two weapons with the same name: Mace, of course. One is a heavy spiked ball on the end of a shaft (definitely lethal), the other is a brand of pepper spray, originally containing tear gas (less-than-lethal).

    1. Whoops, just remembered another for the fruit—caltrops.

  11. The only Czech related weapons thing I know about is that Skoda assisted with German tank production and CKD made some domestic tanks, most notably the 38t and its chassis, which was used for the Hetzer.

  12. Howitzer and pistol.

    1. Correct.

  13. (Details and double-checking from wikipedia).

    1. Grenade
    (From wikipedia, from the old French for pomegranate)

    2. Czechs are famous for their high tolerance machining, especially with firearms, as well as chemistry
    a. The howitzer comes originally from the Czech language,
    b. The pistol also originally comes from the Czech language of
    píšťala, a type of hand cannon.
    c. An argument can be made for Semtex, a high explosive with military applications, named after a Czech suburb. Not sure if that counts as from Czech though.

    3. The Norse woman’s name is Gunhild, which gives rise to the “Gun”

    4. We could have a lot of fun, and call this a pike, comparing the bladed weapon with the fish (that could be used as a weapon?). Or even more fun and call this a “Partisan” which is either a long bladed weapon, or paramilitary forces used behind the front lines. And of course, there’s the Trident (missile versus 3-pointed spear), which is like the Tomahawk (Missile or axe). Or the Bolo (knife) versus Bolas (Thrown rope and balls). Although the last is a stretch.

    1. The P-26 fighter plane was nicknamed the Peashooter.

    2. Of course, the winner for #4 is probably the Smith & Wesson M&P “Shield” ( a 9mm handgun) with the more conventional Shield (IE, Captain America type)…

      With that…

      “When Captain America throws his mighty shield
      All those who choose to oppose his shield must yield
      Unless you’re a plane, or a bomb, or some ice
      Then he’ll choose to take a nap ’cause the ice seems nice
      When Captain America throws his mighty shield!”

    3. Why not consider the Bowie (knife, and also the essential part of -and-arrow”

      Or Longbow, the helicopter, named after the most devastating weapon of the middle ages.

  14. Which weapon was named after a Norse woman’s name? Valkyrie. The name for the failed North American XB-70 bomber project.

    Which two weapons share the same name, though they are about as different as weapons can be? I would say “pistol.” It can refer to either a semi-auto weapon or a revolver.

  15. 1. Grenade, like granada the pomegranate.
    2. Pistol and fusil. Handgun and rifle.
    3. Bertha. The massive field and rail guns made by Krupp.
    4. BAR and FAL. Browning Automatic Rifle and Fusile Automatique Ligere. Only the Browning is trademarked. The FAL is FN-FAL, Fabrique Nationale, Belgium.

  16. In the end, I think I smoked everybody, but more importantly a happy, litigious, and jurisprudentially cogent year to all!!!!

    Keep on thinking.

  17. 1) Sorry. Could not find a Bren fruit.
    2) The Bren light machine gun and the Bren Ten pistol.
    In both cases “Bren” derives from Brno, the center of the Czechoslovakian gun industry.
    3) Bren is an Old Norse name used for both males and females.
    4) The Bren light machine gun and the Bren Ten pistol.

    1. Yeap, Bertha’s name history is my fav one.

      I have bookmarked this article to read more about brand name history and they were made – https://brandnic.com/how-to-choose-a-brand-name

    2. “Bren” was a combination of BRno, where the machine gun was developed, and ENfield, where it was manufactured for British forces during WWII. The Bren Ten pistol was a jazzy name for an American 10 mm pistol derived from a Czech 9mm pistol.

  18. cherry bomb

    pine apple.


    i read a story in which someone tries to assasinate washington with a tomato.

    a potato is not a fruit.

  19. This thread just weeks after I picked my screen name…

  20. To go WAY outside the box, the last question doesn’t specify that the weapons have to be weapons used by people, which gives us “Stinger”, the anti-tank missile, and stinger, the part of a bee that the bee uses as a weapon. Those are pretty different.

    1. Not related to your point, but the stinger is an anti-aircraft missile.

      1. Oops. My knowledge base is the missiles that START FROM the airplane and hit something else.

        1. The stinger antiaircraft missile is man-portable and shoulder-fired at aircraft.

  21. There is the LAW (American light anti-tank weapon M73) and the law represented by the posters at Volokh Conspiracy.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.