c.1300, "shaft of a spear," also "short stick, cudgel," from O.N.Fr. tronchon,
(11c.) "a piece cut off, thick stick, stump," from V.L. *truncionem
), from L. truncus
). Meaning "staff as a symbol of office" is recorded from 1575; sense of "policeman's club" is recorded from 1880.