mid-13c., meallen "strike with a heavy weapon," from Middle English mealle (mid-13c.) "mace, wooden club, heavy hammer" (see maul (n.)). The meaning "damage seriously, mangle" is first recorded 1690s. Related: Mauled; mauling.
c. 1200, mealle, "hammer, usually a heavy one; sledgehammer," from Old French mail "hammer," from Latin malleus "hammer" (from PIE root *mele- "to crush, grind").