In 1923 the owner of the Union Cutlery Co. of Olean, New York received a letter from a fur trapper, who praised the knife after he used it to successfully kill a bear that attacked him after his rifle jammed. According to Union Cutlery Co., the letter was somewhat illegible, with "ka bar" being the only readable part of the phrase "kill a bear." It's been KA-BAR ever since.
Alex Robinson is a senior editor at Supercompressor who wants to know more about this legendary fur trapper. Find him on Twitter @ItsAlexRobinson.