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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.




  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 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


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