• From Middle English sparre ("spar, rafter, beam") (noun), sparren (verb), from Middle Dutch sparre or Middle Low German Sparre, all ultimately from Proto-Germanic *sparrô ("stake, beam"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)par- ("beam, log").
  • Compare Dutch spar ("balk"), German Sparren ("rafter, spar"), Danish sparre ("spar"), Albanian shparr, shpardh. Perhaps also compare spear.
  • From Middle English sparren ("to dart out; to strike out"), from Old English sperran, spirran, spyrran, related to Low German sparre ("a struggling, striving"), German sich sperren ("to struggle, resist, oppose"), Icelandic sperrask ("to kick out at, thrust, struggle").
  • From Middle Low German spar, sper; or from a backformation of sparstone, from Middle English sparston ("gypsum, chalk"), from Old English spærstān ("gypsum"). Related to German Sparkalk ("plaster"), Old English spæren ("of plaster, of mortar").

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