The draughts piece called after the chess pawn?: no!

 

 (See for this rather difficult subject Van der Stoep 2005,2007:12-15).

 In the 16th or/and 17th century, draughts players in five countries (the phenomenon could have occurred in more countries) needed a name for the draughts piece. The reason is clear: in the five languages from the table the original name for the draughts piece acquired another sense: promoted piece.

  Names for the draughts piece
Language Old name New name

French

Italian

Spanish

Dutch

German

dame

dama

dama

dam

dame

pion

pedina

peon

schijf

stein

 

 As he did earlier, Harold Murray saw influence from chess on draughts. Draughts players in France, Italy and Spain borrowed a word from the chess jargon, he argued [1952:73-74].

     Names for chess pawn and draughts piece
Languge Chess pawn Draughts piece

French

Italian

Spanish

pion

pedina

peon

pion

pedina

peon

 

 Murray's claim is definitely wrong. His first omission was that he did not explain the differences between the three languages French, Italian and Spanish and the three languages Dutch, German and English, where the draughts piece and the chess pawn have different names, see the table below.

Names for chess pawn and draughts piece
Language Chess pawn Draughts piece

Dutch

German

English

voetganger

fende, soldat

(table)man

schijf

stein

pawn

 

 And Murray's claim is untenable for still a second reason: the word pedina was already used by draughts players before chess players adopted it. Because of Murray's onbsession that chess was the mother of draughts he failed to notice this, whereas he knew the sources.

 The table below allows us to reconstruct the historical development.

                       Names for the chess pawn
Language

Old name

New name

Introduction new name

French

Italian

paon

pedona

pion

pedina

15th century

16th century

 

 In the 15th century, French chess players replaced the name paon for the chess pawn by the new name pion. This pion was used by players of other board games as for instance tables; so pion meant gaming piece. Italian chess players did the same in the 16th century, replacing the medieval word pedona by  pedina, a word meaning gaming piece. Murray's claim that French and Italian draughts players borrowed the name of the chess pawn is groundless.

 (See for more linguistic background Stoep 1997:78-83 and 2005:12-15).