BLUNDERBUSS (a corruption of the Dutch donder, thunder, and the Dutch bus; cf. Ger. Büchse, a box or tube, hence a thunder-box or gun), an obsolete muzzle-loading firearm with a bell-shaped muzzle. Its calibre was large so that it could contain many balls or slugs, and it was intended to be fired at a short range, so that some of the charge was sure to take effect. The word is also used by analogy to describe a blundering and random person or talker.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)