spaniel (n.)
late 13c., as a surname meaning "Spaniard;" as a name for a breed of dog supposedly of Spanish origin, late 14c., from Old French (chien) espagneul, literally "Spanish (dog)," from Vulgar Latin *Hispaniolus "of Spain," diminutive of Latin Hispanus "Spanish, Hispanic" (see Spaniard). Used originally to start game; the breed was much-developed in England in 17c. Whether it is actually originally Spanish is uncertain.