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From Middle French bransler, from Old French bransler ‎(to shake (a sword at), move), a contracted form of Old French brandeler ‎(to wobble), ultimately from *brand ‎(sword), from Proto-Germanic *brandaz ‎(burning, flash, firebrand, flaming sword).

The supposed intermediary form, Late Latin *brandulare, also from Frankish *brand ‎(sword), is unlikely given that the suffix -ulare had already fallen into disuse (i.e. was no longer productive) at the time of borrowing.




  1. (transitive) to shake
  2. (transitive) to touch (some work)
    Comme il n'a rien branlé, il reste encore la moitié du boulot à faire.
    Since he hasn't touched anything, there's still half the work left to do.
  3. (transitive, vulgar, slang) to do
    Qu'est-ce que tu branles?
    What the fuck are you playing at?
  4. (transitive, vulgar, slang) to masturbate (another person)
    Elle m'a branlé, puis j'ai joui.
    She wanked me off, then I came.
  5. (reflexive, vulgar, se branler) to masturbate


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