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Originally, it denoted the cavalryman's fire-breathing rifle. Eventually, it came to denote the cavalryman himself. What word is it?

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Answer: dragoon

In France a soldier mounted on horseback is a dragoon. Originally, the word - which derives from the French dragon, which surprisingly means "dragon" - referred to the musket: it not only could kill you, it breathed fire. Eventually, it came to denote the cavarlymen who used the muskets.

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