"stakes interlaced with twigs and forming the framework of the wall of a building," Old English watol "hurdle," in plural "twigs, thatching, tiles," related to weðel "bandage," from Proto-Germanic *wadlaz, from PIE *au- (3) "to weave" (see weeds). Surviving in wattle-and-daub "building material for huts, etc." (1808).
"fleshy appendage below the neck of certain birds," 1510s (extended jocularly to human beings, 1560s), of uncertain origin and of doubtful relationship to wattle (n.1). Related: Wattled.