Etymology
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quicksand (n.)

"movable, very loose sand bank in a sea, lake, or river," capable of swallowing heavy objects and sometimes dangerous to vessels or travelers," c. 1300, from Middle English quyk "living" (see quick (adj.)) + sond "sand" (see sand (n.)). Figurative use by 1590s. Old English had cwecesund, but this might have meant "lively strait of water."

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Babel 

capital of Babylon, now a ruin near Hillah in Iraq, late 14c., from Late Latin, from Hebrew Babhel (Genesis xi), from Akkadian bab-ilu "Gate of God" (from bab "gate" + ilu "god"). The name is a translation of Sumerian Ka-dingir.

The meaning "a confused medley of sounds" (1520s) is from the biblical story of the Tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues (Genesis xi). The element bab figures in other place-names across the Middle East, such as Bab-el-Mandeb, the strait at the mouth of the Red Sea.

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channel (n.)

early 14c., "bed of a stream of water," from Old French chanel "bed of a waterway; tube, pipe, gutter," from Latin canalis "groove, channel, waterpipe" (see canal). The English word was given a broader, figurative sense by 1530s: "that by which something passes or is transmitted" (in reference to information, commerce, etc.); the meaning "circuit for telegraph communication" (1848) probably led to that of "band of frequency for radio or TV signals" (1928). Also "part of a sea making a passageway between land masses, a large strait" (1550s).

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narrow (adj.)

Middle English narwe, from Old English nearu "of little width, not wide or broad; constricted, limited; petty; causing difficulty, oppressive; strict, severe," from West Germanic *narwaz "narrowness" (source also of Frisian nar, Old Saxon naru, Middle Dutch nare, Dutch naar) which is not found in other Germanic languages and is of unknown origin.

In reference to railroads, narrow-gauge (also narrow-gage) is by 1841, originally of those less than the standard of 4 feet 8 1/2 inches. The narrow seas (mid-15c.) were the waters between Great Britain and the continent and Ireland, but specifically the Strait of Dover.

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