battle-axe

a battle-axe
an old battle-axe (of a woman)
(beligerent old woman) — мегера, бой-баба

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The word has been in English since at least the 14th century but acquired this sense only in the late 19th. The explanation seems to be that the word was given a new lease of life during hostilities between American settlers and Indians, whose tomahawks were called 'war-hatchets' or 'battle-axes'. It then came into metaphorical use from The Battle Axe, the name of an American women's rights magazine whose writers and readers were presumed to be belligerent and probably elderly spinsters with nothing better to do.