Spitalfields Look up Spitalfields at Dictionary.com
district east of London, famed for the work of refugee Huguenot weavers who took up residence there, from St. Mary Spital, from spital, a Middle English shortened form of hospital, sometimes also spittle, hence spittle-man "one who lives in a hospital."
spitball (n.) Look up spitball at Dictionary.com
1846 in the schoolboy sense, "bit of paper chewed and rounded as a missile;" 1904 in the baseball sense, from spit (n.1) + ball (n.1).
spite (n.) Look up spite at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, shortened form of despit "malice" (see despite). Corresponding to Middle Dutch spijt, Middle Low German spyt, Middle Swedish spit. In 17c. commonly spelled spight. Phrase in spite of is recorded from c. 1400, literally "in defiance or contempt of," hence "notwithstanding." Spite-fence "barrier erected to cause annoyance" is from 1889.
spite (v.) Look up spite at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "dislike, regard with ill will," from spite (n.). Meaning "treat maliciously" is from 1590s (as in "cut off (one's) nose to spite (one's) face"); earlier "fill with vexation, offend" (1560s). Related: Spited; spiting.
spiteful (adj.) Look up spiteful at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from spite (n.) + -ful. Related: Spitefully; spitefulness.
spitfire (n.) Look up spitfire at Dictionary.com
1610s, "a cannon," from spit (v.) + fire (n.); c. 1600 as an adjective. Meaning "irascible, passionate person" is from 1670s. Replaced earlier shitfire (similar formation in Florentine cacafuoco).
spittle (n.) Look up spittle at Dictionary.com
"saliva, spit," late 15c., probably an alteration (by influence of spit (n.1)) of Old English spætl, spatl, from Proto-Germanic *spait- (cognates: Old English spætan "to spit"), from PIE root *sp(y)eu- "to spew, spit" (see spew (v.)).
spittoon (n.) Look up spittoon at Dictionary.com
also spitoon, 1811, American English, from spit (n.1) + -oon. A rare instance of a word formed in English using this suffix (octoroon is another). Replaced earlier spitting box (1680s).
Spitz (n.) Look up Spitz at Dictionary.com
breed of small Pomeranian dog, 1842, from German Spitz, Spitzhund, from spitz "pointed" (see spit (n.2)). So called from the tapering shape of its muzzle.
spiv (n.) Look up spiv at Dictionary.com
"petty crook who will turn his hand to anything so long as it does not involve honest work," 1934, British slang, probably dating back to late 19c. and connected with spiff (see spiffy) in one of its various senses. Being a flashy dresser was a spiv characteristic.
The spiv reached his apotheosis during World War II and the succeeding years, when the disrupted economic conditions allowed ample scope for unofficial trading (a pair of nylons here, a few packets of cigarettes there) and other petty crime. He became a stock figure in the English social comedy, represented on screen by such stereotypes as 'Flash Harry' (played by George Cole) in the St. Trinian's films and Pte. Walker in Dad's Army. [Ayto, "20th Century Words"]
splanchnic (adj.) Look up splanchnic at Dictionary.com
1690s, "pertaining to the viscera," from medical Latin splanchnicus, from Greek splankhnon (see splanchno-) + -ic.
splanchno- Look up splanchno- at Dictionary.com
before vowels splanchn-, word-forming element meaning "viscera," from Greek splankhnon, usually in plural, splankhna "the innards, entrails" (including heart, lungs, liver, kidneys); related to splen (see spleen).
splash (v.) Look up splash at Dictionary.com
1715 (intransitive); 1722 (transitive), probably an alteration of plash with an intensive s-. Related: Splashed; splashing. Splash-board attested from 1826. Splash-down (n.) in the spacecraft sense is attested from 1961.
splash (n.) Look up splash at Dictionary.com
1736, "water or liquid thrown upon anything," from splash (v.). Meaning "striking or ostentatious display" is first attested 1804. Sense of "small quantity of soda water, etc., added to a drink" is from 1922. Of color or light, 1832.
splashy (adj.) Look up splashy at Dictionary.com
1727, "full of puddles," from splash (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "sensational" first attested 1836. Related: Splashily; splashiness.
splat (v.) Look up splat at Dictionary.com
"to land with a smacking sound," 1897, probably of imitative origin. As a noun from 1958.
splatter (v.) Look up splatter at Dictionary.com
1784 (but earlier in splatterdash (1772), variant of spatterdash); perhaps a blend of spatter and splash.
splay (v.) Look up splay at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "unfold, unfurl;" c. 1400, "to spread out," shortened form of desplayen (see display (v.)). Meaning "to spread out awkwardly" is from 1848. Past participle adjective splayed "spread out" is attested from 1540s.
spleen (n.) Look up spleen at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French esplen, from Latin splen, from Greek splen "the milt, spleen," from PIE *spelgh- "spleen, milt" (cognates: Sanskrit plihan-, Avestan sperezan, Armenian p'aicaln, Latin lien, Old Church Slavonic slezena, Lithuanian blužnis, Old Prussian blusne, Old Irish selg "spleen").

Regarded in medieval physiology as the seat of morose feelings and bad temper. Hence figurative sense of "violent ill-temper" (1580s, implied in spleenful); and thence spleenless "free from anger, ill-humor, malice, or spite" (1610s).
splendid (adj.) Look up splendid at Dictionary.com
1620s, "marked by grandeur," probably a shortening of earlier splendidious (early 15c.), from Latin splendidus "bright, shining, glittering; sumptuous, gorgeous, grand; illustrious, distinguished, noble; showy, fine, specious," from splendere "be bright, shine, gleam, glisten," from PIE *splend- "to shine, glow" (cognates: Lithuanian splendziu "I shine," Middle Irish lainn "bright"). An earlier form was splendent (late 15c.). From 1640s as "brilliant, dazzling;" 1640s as "conspicuous, illustrious; very fine, excellent." Ironic use (as in splendid isolation, 1843) is attested from 17c.
splendidly (adv.) Look up splendidly at Dictionary.com
1650s, from splendid + -ly (2).
splendiferous (adj.) Look up splendiferous at Dictionary.com
considered a playful elaboration since its re-birth in 1843, but in 15c. it was good English, from Medieval Latin splendorifer, from splendor (see splendor) + ferre "to bear" (see infer). Compare 15c. splendidious, also splendacious (1843). Bartlett (1859) offers this, allegedly from "An itinerant gospeller ... holding forth to a Kentuckian audience on the kingdom of heaven":
"Heaven, my beloved hearers," said he, "is a glorious, a beautiful, a splendiferous, an angeliferous place. Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, it has not entered into the imagination of any Cracker in these here diggings what carryings on the just made perfect have up thar."
splendor (n.) Look up splendor at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle French esplendour, Anglo-French esplendour (Old French splendeur, splendor, 12c.) or directly from Latin splendor "brilliance, brightness," from splendere "be bright, shine" (see splendid).
splendorous (adj.) Look up splendorous at Dictionary.com
1590s, from splendor + -ous. Related: Splendorously; splendorousness.
splendour (n.) Look up splendour at Dictionary.com
chiefly British English spelling of splendor; for ending see -or. Related: Splendourous; splendourously.
splenetic (adj.) Look up splenetic at Dictionary.com
1540s, "pertaining to the spleen," from Late Latin spleneticus, from splen (see spleen). Meaning "irritably morose" is from 1590s. Alternative splenic (1610s) is from French splénique (16c.).
Gloomy, Sullen, Sulky, Morose, Splenetic. These words are arranged in the order of their intensity and of their degree of activity toward others. [Century Dictionary]
spleno- Look up spleno- at Dictionary.com
before vowels splen-, word-forming element meaning "spleen, spleen and," from comb. form of Greek splen (see spleen).
splenomegaly (n.) Look up splenomegaly at Dictionary.com
enlargement of the spleen, 1900, from spleno- + Greek megas "great" (fem. megale; see mickle).
splice (v.) Look up splice at Dictionary.com
1520s, originally a sailors' word, from Middle Dutch splissen "to splice" (Dutch splitsen), from Proto-Germanic *spli-, from PIE root *(s)plei- "to split, splice" (see flint). The Dutch word was borrowed in French as épisser. Used of motion picture film from 1912; of DNA from 1975. Related: Spliced; splicing; splicer.
splice (n.) Look up splice at Dictionary.com
1620s (implied in splicing), first recorded in writing of Capt. John Smith, from splice (v.). Motion picture film sense is from 1923. In colloquial use, "marriage union, wedding" (1830).
spliff (n.) Look up spliff at Dictionary.com
conical cannabis cigarette, 1936, a West Indian word, of unknown origin.
spline (n.) Look up spline at Dictionary.com
long, thin piece of wood or metal, 1756, from East Anglian dialect, of uncertain origin. Perhaps from older Danish splind or North Frisian splinj. Especially one fitted into a groove on a wheel and a shaft to keep them revolving together (1864).
splint (n.) Look up splint at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "overlapping plate or strip in armor" (made of metal splints), probably from Middle Low German splinte, splente "thin piece of iron," related to Middle Dutch splinte "splint," probably literally "thin piece cut off," and from a Germanic offshoot of PIE *(s)plei- "to split, splice" (see flint). Cognate with Danish splint "splinter," Swedish splint "wooden peg, wedge." Meaning "slender, flexible slip of wood" is recorded from early 14c.; specific surgical sense is attested from c. 1400.
splinter (n.) Look up splinter at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Middle Dutch splinter, splenter "a splinter," related to splinte (see splint). The adjective (in splinter party, etc.) is first recorded 1935, from the noun.
splinter (v.) Look up splinter at Dictionary.com
1580s (transitive), from splinter (n.). Figurative sense from c. 1600. Intransitive use from 1620s. Middle English had splinder (v.) "to shatter" (of a spear, etc.), mid-15c. Related: Splintered; splintering.
split (v.) Look up split at Dictionary.com
1580s (transitive and intransitive), not found in Middle English, probably from a Low German source such as Middle Dutch splitten, from Proto-Germanic *spl(e)it- (cognates: Danish and Frisian splitte, Old Frisian splita, German spleißen "to split"), from PIE *(s)plei- "to split, splice" (see flint).

U.S. slang meaning "leave, depart" first recorded 1954. Of couples, "to separate, to divorce" from 1942. To split the difference is suggested from 1715; to split (one's) ticket in the U.S. political sense is attested from 1842. To split hairs "make too-nice distinctions" is from 1670s (split a hair). Splitting image "exact likeness" is from 1880. To split the atom is from 1909.
split (n.) Look up split at Dictionary.com
1590s, "narrow cleft, crack, fissure," from split (v.). Meaning "piece of wood formed by splitting" is from 1610s. Meaning "an act of separation, a divorce" is from 1729. From 1861 as the name of the acrobatic feat. Meaning "a drink composed of two liquors" is from 1882; that of "sweet dish of sliced fruit with ice cream" is attested from 1920, American English. Slang meaning "share of the take" is from 1889. Meaning "a draw in a double-header" is from 1920.
split (adj.) Look up split at Dictionary.com
1640s, past participle adjective from split (v.). Split decision is from 1946 of court rulings, 1951 in boxing. Split shift is from 1904. Split personality first attested 1899.
split-level (adj.) Look up split-level at Dictionary.com
1951 as a type of building plan, from split (adj.) + level (n.). As a noun from 1954, short for split-level house, etc.
split-screen (adj.) Look up split-screen at Dictionary.com
1949, from noun use (1946); see split (adj.) + screen (n.).
split-second (n.) Look up split-second at Dictionary.com
1884, originally the name of a type of stopwatch with two second hands that could be stopped independently. Meaning "a fraction of a second" is from 1912, from split (adj.) + second (n.1); adjectival meaning "occurring in a fraction of a second" is from 1946.
splosh (v.) Look up splosh at Dictionary.com
1889 [in Farmer, who calls it "A New England variant of splash"], ultimately imitative. Perhaps influenced by splish-splosh "sound made by feet walking through wet" (1881). Related: Sploshed; sploshing.
splotch (n.) Look up splotch at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "a broad, ill-defined spot," perhaps a blend of spot, blot, and/or botch. Old English had splott "spot, blot; patch of land." Related: Splotchy; splotchiness.
splurge (n.) Look up splurge at Dictionary.com
1828, "ostentatious display," American English, of uncertain origin; originally among the class of words considered characteristic of "Western" (i.e. Kentucky) dialect. Perhaps a blend of splash and surge. The meaning "extravagant indulgence in spending" is first recorded 1928.
splurge (v.) Look up splurge at Dictionary.com
"to make an ostentatious display, to put on a splurge" (in the older sense of the noun), by 1843, from splurge (n.). Thornton's "American Glossary" has an 1848 citation defining splurge (v.) as "to expatiate at large, to appeal to broad and general principles." Meaning "to spend extravagantly" is by 1934. Related: Splurged; splurging.
splutter (n.) Look up splutter at Dictionary.com
1670s, perhaps a variant of sputter, intensified by the consonant cluster of splash, splatter, etc.
splutter (v.) Look up splutter at Dictionary.com
1728, from splutter (n.). Related: Spluttered; spluttering.
Spock Look up Spock at Dictionary.com
half-alien character in the "Star Trek" U.S. entertainment franchise, developed and named 1964 by series creator Gene Roddenberry, who later said he was searching for an alien-sounding word and not thinking of U.S. physician and child-care specialist Benjamin M. Spock (1903-1998), whose name is of Dutch origin. The doctor wrote the enormously popular "Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care" (1946) and is the source of the first element in Spock-marked (1967), defined in OED as "(Adversely) affected by an upbringing held to be in accordance with the principles of Dr. Spock ...."
spode (n.) Look up spode at Dictionary.com
fine sort of porcelain, 1869, named for first maker, Josiah Spode (1754-1827), potter in Stoke-on-Trent, England.
spodomancy (n.) Look up spodomancy at Dictionary.com
"divination by ashes," 1836, from Greek spodos "wood ashes, embers," of uncertain origin, + -mancy. Related: Spodomantic.