1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Grape

GRAPE, the fruit of the vine (q.v.). The word is adopted from the O. Fr. grape, mod. grappe, bunch or cluster of flowers or fruit, grappes de raisin, bunch of grapes. The French word meant properly a hook; cf. M.H.G. krapfe, Eng. “grapnel,” and “cramp.” The development of meaning seems to be vine-hook, cluster of grapes cut with a hook, and thence in English a single grape of a cluster. The projectile called “grape” or “grape-shot,” formerly used with smooth-bore ordnance, took its name from its general resemblance to a bunch of grapes. It consisted of a number of spherical bullets (heavier than those of the contemporary musket) arranged in layers separated by thin iron plates, a bolt passing through the centre of the plates binding the whole together. On being discharged the projectile delivered the bullets in a shower somewhat after the fashion of case-shot.