1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pommel
POMMEL (through O. Fr. pomel, from a diminutive pomellus of Lat. pomum, fruit, apple), any rounded object resembling an apple, e.g. the rounded termination of a saddle-bow; in architecture, any round knob, as a boss, finial, &c.; more particularly the rounded end to the hilt of a sword, dagger or other hand weapon, used to prevent the hand from slipping, and as a balance to the blade. “Pommel” is also a term used of a piece of grooved wood used in graining leather. This word may be the same in origin, or more probably from Fr. paumelle, from paume, the hand, palm.