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Hurdle maker's twybill
Stone twibill several millennia old
Gymnasium scene about 490 BCE, showing mattock used for loosening soil in the jumping pit

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English twibill, from Old English twibill, from twī- (double) + bill (edge, blade), probably from German Beil or Dutch bijl (axe), see also billhook.


twibill (plural twibills)

  1. An axe with two cutting blades.
  2. A mattock.
  3. A double-bladed tool used in gate-type hurdle-making for cutting out mortices, with a flat chisel and a mortice chisel or hook, similar to the much larger French carpenter's tool, the besaiguë (or bisaiguë).
  4. (obsolete) A double-bladed halberd or battle-axe.

Further reading[edit]