From Middle English brekil, brikel, brukel, brokel (“easily broken or shattered, brittle, fragile”), from Old English *brycel, *brucol (as in hūsbrycel (“burglarious”, literally “tending to break into houses, i.e. "house-breakative"”), scipbrucol (“destructive to shipping, causing shipwreck”, literally “tending to break ships or shipping down, i.e. "ship-breakative"”)), from Proto-Germanic *brukilaz, *brukulaz (“liable or tending to break”), extended form of Proto-Germanic *brukiz (“breakable”), equivalent to break + -le. Compare brittle.
- (dialectal) Apt to, capable of, or tending to break; fragile; brittle.
1855, Ulster Archaeological Society, Ulster journal of archaeology:
- At "Blackhead" — "Here is a breakle black touche stone under other rough stone."