aspersion (n.)

mid-15c., originally in theology, "the shedding of Christ's blood," from Latin aspersionem (nominative aspersio) "a sprinkling," noun of action from past participle stem of aspergere "to sprinkle on," from ad "to" (see ad-) + spargere "sprinkle, strew" (see sparse). Non-theological sense of "a bespattering with slander, derogatory criticism" is attested from 1590s. To cast aspersions was in Fielding (1749).