pen knife

penknife

[pen-nahyf]
noun, plural penknives.
a small pocketknife, formerly one used for making and sharpening quill pens.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English; see pen1, knife

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World English Dictionary
penknife (ˈpɛnˌnaɪf)
 
n , pl -knives
a small knife with one or more blades that fold into the handle; pocketknife
 
[C15: so called because it was originally used for making and repairing quill pens]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

penknife
early 15c., so called because such small knives were used to sharpen quills.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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