Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English spalle ‎(a chip) (first documented in 1440), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from the Middle English verb spald ‎(to split) (c.1400), from Middle Low German spalden, cognate with Old High German spaltan ‎(to split)

Alternative formsEdit


spall ‎(plural spalls)

  1. A splinter, fragment or chip, especially of stone.
    • 1974, GB Edwards, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, New York 2007, p. 13:
      My father knew Bert Le Feuvre, the foreman of Griffith's yard, and there was a little heap of spawls waiting ready every night in summer after school for me to crack.


spall ‎(third-person singular simple present spalls, present participle spalling, simple past and past participle spalled)

  1. (transitive) To break into fragments or small pieces.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Pryce to this entry?)
  2. (transitive) To reduce, as irregular blocks of stone, to an approximately level surface by hammering.

Etymology 2Edit

From Italian spalla.


spall ‎(plural spalls)

  1. (obsolete, rare) The shoulder.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene,
      Their mightie strokes their haberieons dismayld, / And naked made each others manly spalles [...].


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