from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- a metal ball of small size, with a string attached, used by ruffians for striking.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A weapon consisting of a metal ball or a stone slung to a short strap, chain, or braided leather handle, or in any similar way: it is used by roughs and criminals, and is a dangerous weapon.
Sorry, no etymologies found.