The arquebus (
The heavy arquebus, known as the
An infantryman armed with an arquebus is called an arquebusier.
The arquebus has at times been known as the harquebus, harkbus, hackbut, hagbut, archibugio, haakbus, schiopo, sclopus, tüfenk, tofak, matchlock, and firelock.
The first sure attestation of the term arquebus dates back to 1364, when the lord of
In the early 16th century, the term "arquebus" was used to describe an assortment of guns, but by the late 16th century the arquebus, caliver, and musket had settled down into size categories for firearms. Continental European powers such as the Spanish, Germans, and French differentiated muskets from arquebuses by size and if they required a fork rest or not. However, the musket—essentially a large arquebus—which had been introduced around 1521, fell out of favor in the mid-16th century due to the decline of armor, but the term stuck around and musket became a generic descriptor for all 'shoulder arms' fireweapons into the 1800s. At least on one occasion the musket and arquebus have been used interchangeably to refer to the same weapon, and even referred to as an "arquebus musket". A Habsburg commander in the mid-1560s once referred to muskets as "double arquebuses". The matchlock firing mechanism also became a common term for the arquebus after it was added to the firearm. Later flintlock firearms were sometimes called