8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary
1530s, "a spark," Scottish, from Gaelic spong "tinder, pith, sponge," from Latin spongia (see sponge). The sense of "courage, pluck, mettle" is first attested 1773. A similar sense evolution took place in cognate Irish sponnc "sponge, tinder, spark, courage, spunk." Vulgar slang sense of "seminal fluid" is recorded from c.1888.