In a Mail Call video, R. Lee Ermey answers a question from Bob of Pottstown, Virginia who asks where the word shrapnel comes from. First Ermey explains what shrapnel is; it comes in all shapes and sizes and can be sent to a target inside everything from a light-weight hand grenade to a large bomb. No matter which way you put it, shrapnel is basically exploding metal fragments that deliver a whole lot of hurt. The word shrapnel comes from the man who invented it back in 1784, Henry Shrapnel, the first British lieutenant of the British artillery who was experimenting on how to make ammunition deadlier. He created a weapon which he named spherical case shot which was designed to explode above enemy troops and shower them with hurt. Overtime, the device was simply called shrapnel after the man who invented it; in fact, the term shrapnel is now used to define a number of things: shell fragments, shot, or anything that flies out of an explosive.