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By Isaac Mozeson

SLUGGING it out with our creepy dictionaries


David Funnel asks me to provide a better etymology for SEAL (animal) than related to "sea." I then compare SEAL to SLUG, from זחל ZaK[H]ahL (creep, crawl). Both creatures drag their body along.

To get SLUG, one needs an M132 metathesis, using the 1) Zayin/Z for S, the 3rd Edenic letter, Lamed/L then 3) the second letter, Het , for the throaty guttural. SEAL from זחל ZaK[H]ahL is much easier. At least, once you see how SEAL apppears in other languages

SLUG ZaK[H]ahL Zayin-Vav-Het-Lamed
Zoa-KHEL___ _____ זחל ___ __[ZKL--> SLG]

ROOTS: A SLUG is a snail-like gastropod that sluggishly slides by on its own grease. The IE “root” given for SLUG and SLUGGISH is slue (“hypothetical base of a group of distantly related Germanic derivatives with various suffixes.”) Middle English slugge, a sluggard is a recent word but the only known etymon to contribute to the lazy lexicography above.
The Modern Hebrew crawling larva are זחל ZaK[H]ahL. The “crawlers in the dust” of Deuteronomy 32:24 are זחלי ZoaK[H]aL(aY GHaFaR). Mica 7:27 makes clear this phrase’s parallel to snakes. Aramaic זחל ZiK[H]aL is to crawl or creep. Syriac זחלאZaK[H]LAh is a locust or any creeping thing.

In Modern Hebrew זחלי ZaK[H]aLeeY is a catapillar, and a זחלן ZaK[H]LaN is a SLUGGARD who moves with a SLUGGISH pace. זוחל ZOAK[H]eL is any creeping creature or reptile. For SLUG, theזחל Zayin-Het-Lamed Edenic etymon requires an M132 metathesis, with mild shifts of the fricative and guttural.

The fricative-guttural of שכה SHaKHaH (to bow down – Isaiah 51:23) is relevant, even though small animal creepers do so less conspicuously.

זחל ZaK[H]ahL (crawl) fits the sound and sense of two larger, mammals who creep and encoach on prey with a crouch when hunting. They are named with fricative and guttural shifts of זחל ZaK[H]ahL (crawl). They are the שועל SHOOGHahL (fox, – see JACKAL) and the (poetic name) of the lion שחל the SHaK[H]aL (Hosea 5:14). Of course, these predators are not real creepers; they merely crawl on their bellies to hide from their prey. But the unusual, similar locomotion warrants the designer of these creatures to have sound-alike names.

BRANCHES: A SNAIL and SLUG are closely related. See SNAIL for the tragic tale of how language corruption drove them apart.

For what they’re worth, the Amer. Heritage Dict. lists cognates like SLUMBER, SLEET and SLUSH. At least one has to SLOG (slide) through sleet and slush. Even if you don’t cut a SLACKER much SLACK, you should group him with the SLUGGARDS here.

The jackal is the SLOUCH of canines – see JACKAL. Creatures larger than reptiles
can SLINK – the metathesis is sharp here, with less letter shifts, but the secretive creeping of SLINKING does have a nasalization (extra N). The species clearly related to Zayin-Het-Lamed in Scripture is the snake. Recalling SLINK above, the discerning reader will not be surprised to discover that Danish slange, Dutch slang, and German Schlange means snake. Sounding similar, Yiddish slang for the snakelike male appendage is here exposed.

German schleichen, creep, sneak, steal is clearly from our זחל ZaK[H]ahL, crawl, creep – even though there is a fricative shift (Zayin/Z to S) and the doubled guttural CH follows the pronunciation of זחל as SaK[H-K[HahL.

Czech and Polish lesc, to creep, crawl, may be an M213 metatjhesi, S-F.(fricative shift) and S-G (shift of gutturals). . A Polish word closer to זחל ZaK[H]ahL, crawl, creep is skul-ic (crouch, squat—S-F).
The regal lion crawls when hunting. The Farsi (Persian) lion, shir, may be from the fricative-liquid lion, שחל SHa[K]HaL. (Het easily drops out).
There are slugs with no legs, and SLUGGARDS with two.

Zooologiacally, SEALS and sea lions are very different from SLUGS. But not in their locomotion or etymology. זחל ZaK[H]ahL, crawling, creeping, dragging their bodies, fits the awkward land locomotion of these graceful swimmers. The SEAL words below support the idea that the animal name SEAL is from an appropriate Edenic fricative-guttural-liquid, and not somehow linked to the word “sea:.
Old French, seaulx, Old High German selach, selah, Middle High German seleh, Italian sigillo, Scots sealgh, selch, silch, Spanish sigilo,and Swedish sjel.
This missive fired from Sderot.

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Nettie   12/27/2011 8:01:00 AM
I told my grandmother how you hpleed. She said, "bake them a cake!"

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