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From Middle French gaspiller ‎(to waste) (c. 1549). Of uncertain origin. Perhaps a modification of Middle French gaspailler ‎(to throw back/reject bullets of wheat) from Old French gaspail, vaspale ‎(bullet of wheat) (compare Medieval Latin gaspalium; Old Northern French waspail ‎(chaff)), from Frankish *wispila ‎(measure of grain) from Proto-Germanic *wisp- ‎(measure of grain). Akin to Middle Dutch wispel, Middle Low German wispel, Norwegian visp, English wisp ‎(handful or bundle of hay or grass). More at wisp.

Alternate etymology connects Middle French gaspiller to Frankish *gaspillan, *gaspildjan ‎(to waste) from Proto-Germanic *gaspilþijaną ‎(to destroy, waste), from Proto-Indo-European *spel- ‎(to break off, split), making it cognate with Old High German gaspildan ‎(to squander, waste), Middle Dutch spillen ‎(to waste), Old English ġespillan ‎(to spill, waste, spend). Compare also Occitan guespillar, gispillar ‎(to trouble, tease) from the same Germanic source. More at spill.


gaspilleux m ‎(plural gaspilleurs)

  1. (Jersey) spendthrift