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

The supposed intermediary form, Late Latin *brandulare, also from Proto-West Germanic *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.


  • IPA(key): /bʁɑ̃.le/
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  1. (transitive) to shake
  2. (transitive, vulgar) 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 up to?
    Synonyms: foutre, glander, fabriquer
  4. (transitive, vulgar, slang) to masturbate (another person)
    Il m'a branlé, puis j'ai joui.
    He wanked me off, then I came.
  5. (reflexive, vulgar, se branler) to masturbate
    Samedi je vais me branler toute la journée.
    On Saturday I’m gonna jerk it all day.


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