Word Origin & History
1589 (implied in squandering), "to spend recklessly or prodigiously," of unknown origin; Shakespeare used it 1593 in "Merchant of Venice" with a sense of "to be scattered over a wide area." Squander-bug, a British symbol of reckless extravagance and waste during war-time shortages, represented as a devilish
insect, was introduced Jan. 1943 by the National Savings Committee. In U.S., Louis Ludlow coined squanderlust (1935) for the tendency of government bureaucracies to spend much money.