Lat. pīlum n. ‘javelin, spear'. Origin much disputed. OED says: classical Latin pīlum 'the heavy javelin of the Roman foot-soldier', originally 'pestle' < the same base as pīnsere v. 'to pound'... compare classical Latin pīla mortar... the transfer of sense is unclear but probably originates in Roman military slang." OED
Robert Farren, PIE culture words collection, 2017
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