What you lot (UK/US) understand by a ‘sliver’, we, in southern Scotland, call a ‘spail’.
The dialect word for a splinter in my part of the north east of England is “speld”. And the Afrikaans word for splinter is also “speld”. OED on speld:
Etymology: Old English speld neuter, = Old Norse speld , spjald (Norwegian spjeld , Swedish spjell ), related to Gothic spilda (feminine), Middle High German and German dialect spelte tablet, splinter, chip, etc.: see spald v. ...
2. A chip or splinter.
a1375 William of Palerne (1867) l. 3855 So spakli here speres al on speldes went.
a1375 William of Palerne (1867) l. 3603 Þe kniȝt spere in speldes alto-schiuered.
OED on spale:
Etymology: Of uncertain origin: compare spall n.1 and speel n.1
There is resemblance in form to Old Norse spal-, spǫlr bar, rod, short piece, Middle High German (and German dialect) spale rung of a ladder, German dialect spale, spal wooden spit, wedge; but real connection with these is doubtful.
Sc. and north.
1. Thesaurus »
a. A splinter or chip, a thin piece or strip, of wood.
a1500 Ratis Raving 57 With stikis, and with spalys small,
Both words refer to the verb spald, to splinter, from about 1400. Here’s the etymology from OED:
Forms: α. ME, 18 spald, 18 spauld. β. ME spawde, 18 spaud, spaad, spoad.
Etymology: < Middle Low German spalden, = obsolete West Frisian spâlde, Middle Dutch spouden (Dutch spouwen; West Frisian spoude, spouwe), Old High German spaltan (Middle High German and German spalten), to split. A different grade of the stem is represented by Gothic spilda, Old Norse speld, spjald, tablet, Old English speld, Middle High German and German dialect spelte splinter.
English dialects have also the n. spald , spaud , corresponding to Middle Low German spalde and spald (German spalte , spalt ), and the derivative verb spalder , spauder (compare spalderling n.), = Middle Low German spalderen.
north. and Sc.
a.trans. To splinter, split, break up, lay open or flat.
SteveG, if you’re around - do you also recognize speld?