THE ROYAL NAVY CUTLASS
The peculiar word Cutlass has an interesting structure.
Quote" One difficulty in defining "cutlass" is that the combination of word and weapon is almost uniquely English. The word "cutlass" comes from French coutlas, thence from Italian coltellacio and finally from Latin cultellus, but in none of those languages does it mean the short backsword that it means in English.
The French word for the weapon we call "cutlass" is sabre d'abordage, boarding saber, and some equivalent of "boarding saber" is used in most European languages (Spanish sable de abordaje, Italian sciabbola d'abordaggio, German Entersäbel). The only language I know of besides English that uses a cognate of "cutlass" for a short backsword is the Dutch kortelas. So it can be hard to say if a weapon from a non-English European culture is a "cutlass," because they would use a completely unrelated word for it."Unquote.
Another author writes in~
Quote"The origin of the name cutlass is obscure – The Oxford Dictionary gives “Curtleax” as the earliest form
(1579) and “Coutelace” in (1594).
Cutlass was the name applied essentially to a cheap cutting weapon supplied by the Admiralty for the use of seamen.
The Board of Ordnance used the term “Sword for Sea Service” while later the Admiralty described them as “Sword Naval”
The oldest manuscript reference in the British National Museum occurs in lists of weapons returned During 1645 – 1649."Unquote.
One strange link via the Dutch East Indies is the Dogs Head Cutlass which should really be called the Lions Head because it is clearly a design influenced by the Sri Lankan Kastane pommel~ See below for comparison;