One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A small wooden peg or spigot for stopping a cask.
stopper, stop, plug, bung, peg, spigot, sealView synonyms
- ‘Before beginning, sterilize both the spile and the jug with boiling water.’
- 1.1North American A small wooden or metal spout for tapping the sap from a sugar maple.
2A large, heavy timber driven into the ground to support a superstructure.
- ‘Into this hole, tap in the spile with a wooden mallet.’
Broach (a cask) with a peg in order to draw off liquid.
- ‘Well, firstly I'm still adamant that you can't beat a pint of cask-conditioned ale, properly tapped and spiled, at the peak of perfection.’
Early 16th century: from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German, ‘wooden peg’; in spile (sense 2 of the noun) apparently an alteration of pile.
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