spill

\ \ Spilllet fall’ [OE] and spillthin piece of wood’ are distinct words. The former originally meant ‘destroy, kill’; the modern sense ‘allow liquid to pour out or fall’, which did not emerge until the 14th century, arose as a rather grisly metaphor based on the notion of ‘shedding blood’. The ultimate origins of the word, which has relatives in Dutch spillen and Swedish spilla, are not known. Spillthin piece of wood’ was probably borrowed from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch spilesplinter, wooden pin, bar, etc’, which also gave English spilebung’ [16].
\ \ This in turn went back to a prehistoric West Germanic *spinla (source also of English spindle). The familiar modern use of spill for a ‘small slip of wood, paper, etc used for carrying a flame’ did not emerge until the early 19th century.
\ \ Cf.SPIN, SPINDLE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Spill — Spill, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spilled}, or {Spilt}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Spilling}.] [OE. spillen,sually, to destroy, AS. spillan, spildan, to destroy; akin to Icel. spilla to destroy, Sw. spilla to spill, Dan. spilde, G. & D. spillen to squander, OHG …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spill — may refer to:* Spill (UK band), a dance duo * Daniel Spill (1832–1887), English entrepreneur * Oil spill * Data spill * Leadership spill …   Wikipedia

  • spill — Ⅰ. spill [1] ► VERB (past and past part. spilt or spilled) 1) flow or cause to flow over the edge of a container. 2) move or empty out from a place. 3) informal reveal (confidential information). ► NOUN …   English terms dictionary

  • spill — spill; spill·able; spill·age; spill·flö·te; spill·ing; …   English syllables

  • Spill — Spill, v. i. 1. To be destroyed, ruined, or wasted; to come to ruin; to perish; to waste. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] That thou wilt suffer innocents to spill. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. To be shed; to run over; to fall out, and be lost or wasted. He… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spill — ‘let fall’ [OE] and spill ‘thin piece of wood’ are distinct words. The former originally meant ‘destroy, kill’; the modern sense ‘allow liquid to pour out or fall’, which did not emerge until the 14th century, arose as a rather grisly metaphor… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • Spill — Spill, n. [[root]170. Cf. {Spell} a splinter.] 1. A bit of wood split off; a splinter. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] 2. A slender piece of anything. Specifically: [1913 Webster] (a) A peg or pin for plugging a hole, as in a cask; a spile.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spill — [v1] slop, drop discharge, disgorge, dribble, drip, empty, flow, lose, overfill, overflow, overrun, overturn, pour, run, run out, run over, scatter, shed, spill over, splash, splatter, spray, sprinkle, spurt, squirt, stream, throw off, upset,… …   New thesaurus

  • spill — spill1 [spil] vt. spilled or spilt, spilling [ME spillen < OE spillan, to destroy, squander, akin to MHG spillen, to split < IE base * (s)p(h)el , to split, split off > SPALL, L spolium] 1. to allow or cause, esp. unintentionally or… …   English World dictionary

  • Spill — Spill, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spilt}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Spilling}.] To cover or decorate with slender pieces of wood, metal, ivory, etc.; to inlay. [Obs.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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