Origin of English word SLACK

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









send off, send away or set free


The Indo-European “root” of SLACK is sleg (to be slack or languid).

 There is an Edenic way to link  SLACK with SL words of weakness. This requires an M321 or reversal of  חלש  K[H]aLaSH (weak, powerless --  Job 14:10).  See LOOSE.

 The Shin-Lamed -Khaf  approach here is based on the sense of being let go and thrown off like SLOUGH – see SLOUGH.  Old English slaec (loose) is more likely from the Edenic word of letting loose.

שלך   SHaLahK[H] is to send off, send away or set free. When Moses demands, "Let my people go" (Exodus7:16) - the verb is  שלך S(H)LahKH. Today, a teen would say, “Cut me some SLACK.”

שלח SH’LahK[H] is also to extend, send (Leviticus 26:22), send away (Genesis 44:3) or to let go (Genesis 30:25) – SLACKENING.  The two words are either designed synonyms or accidental variants.


To SLAKE is to lessen the hold of something… to give it SLACK, to let go… thus from the letting go of our   שלך S(H)LahKH. To SLAKE (weaken, loosen) one’s thirst in German is  Durst löschen. Extinguishing a fire in German,

löschen, also has the CH to suggest a link to חלש   K[H]aLaSH (weakening). Even more suggestive of Het-Lamed (but no Shin) are German words like  locker  (loose), lockern (to loosen) and  Lockerung (loosening). There is asubtle difference between slackening and simple loosening, like the German los seen at LOOSE.   

SLAG is a variant of SLACK (Websters).  SLAG is the thrown--off dross in metallurgy.  The AHD sites Middle Low German slagge, metal dross,  but  considers SLAG a cognate of SCHLOCK (a blow, though the Yiddish meaning of “trashy” fits SLAG).

Polish na slac means “send.”

RW theorizes than gulping food or drink is throwing or sending food rapidly down the throat.  This could be why many Germanic “gulp” words (verbs) echo  שלך S(H)LahKH. These include: Schluck (a swallow, draught), schlucken in German, slikken  in Dutch, sluka in Swedish, sluge in Danish and svelge in Norwegian. She adds that German Schlauch is a tube to send food to patients, water to plants, etc.

RW’s theory is corroborated. She explains why  SLUG has a definition as seen in Dictionary.Com (Random House): “ Informal To drink rapidly or in large gulps: slugged down a can of pop.  The lexicographers needed only to explore Germanic to disover why a SLUG of whisky is SLUGGED down in one gulp.  Liquid sent to a funnel (German Schlot) is also related.

German Schl ot makes a better source for SLOT. Coins, letters, etc. are sen t

To a receptacle via a SLOT.  The printed source of SLOT is a Middle English word for the hollow of the breastbone, from Middle French escl ot of unknown origin.

For the animal SLUG, see SLUG.

Bible Verses

Exodus 7:16 ואמרת אליו יהוה אלהי העברים שׁלחני אליך לאמר שׁלח את־עמי ויעבדני במדבר והנה לא־שׁמעת עד־כה׃

“And thou shalt say unto him: The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, hath sent me unto thee, saying: Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness; and, behold, hitherto thou hast not hearkened;”



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