1505-15; < Middle Frenchjaveline, by suffix alteration from javelot,Anglo-Frenchgavelot, gaveloc, probably < Old Englishgafeluc, *gafeloc ≪ British Celtic*gablākos presumably, a spear with a forklike head; compare MIr gablach forked branch, javelin, MWelsh gaflach (apparently < OIr), derivative of Old Irishgabul fork, forked branch, cognate with Old Bretongabl,Welshgafl
late 15c., from M.Fr. javeline (15c.), fem. dim. of O.Fr. javelot "a spear," probably from Gaulish (cf. O.Ir. gabul "fork;" Welsh gafl "fork," gaflach "feathered spear"). Also found in It. (giavelotto) and M.H.G. (gabilot).