Origin of English word SLUG

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word









Creeping creature or reptile


A SLUG is a snail-like gastropod that sluggishly slides by on its own grease. The Indo-European “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 larvae 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    זחלא ZaK[H]L A h 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, the זחל  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. 

For the informal SLUGGING of gulped-down liquids, see SLACK.


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 AHD 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

 do 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. 

Germanschleichen, 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, S-F. S-G .  A Polish word closer to זחל   ZaK[H]ahL, crawl, creep is skul-ic  (crouch, squat—S-F). The Scots Gaelic slug and snail is a seilheag. The Old Irish snail is selige, while the Old Prussian is slayx.  (F.M.)

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.

Bible Verses

Deuteronomy 32:34 מזי רעב ולחמי רשׁף וקטב מרירי ושׁן־בהמת אשׁלח־בם עם־חמת זחלי עפר׃

“The wasting of hunger, and the devouring of the fiery bolt, and bitter destruction; and the teeth of beasts will I send upon them, with the venom of crawling things of the dust.”



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