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.
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).