Etymology
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slice (n.1)

c. 1300, sclice, "a splinter, a fragment," from Old French escliz "splinter, broken piece of wood" (Anglo-French sclice, Modern French éclisse), a back-formation from esclicier "to splinter, shatter, smash," from Frankish *slitan "to split" or some other Germanic source (compare Old High German slihhan; see slit (v.)).

The meaning "thin, broad piece cut from something" emerged early 15c., with thereafter many technical applications to specific thin, broad things. Slice of life (1895) translates French tranche de la vie, a term from French Naturalist literature.

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slice (v.)

"cut in relatively broad, thin pieces; cut into or through with a sharp instrument," late 15c., sclicen, from Old French esclicier, from escliz "splinter, fragment" (see slice (n.1)). The original reference is to beef. The sense in golfing, etc. is by 1890, "draw the face of the club across (the ball) in the act of hitting it," so called for the motion. Related: Sliced; slicing.

No matter how thick or how thin you slice it it's still baloney. [Carl Sandburg, "The People, Yes," 1936]

Sliced bread, of a loaf pre-cut into slices, is attested from 1929 and was touted in advertisements; with the phrase greatest thing since ... it is attested by 1969.

With the advent of ready sliced bread the bread board, the bread knife and the slicing machine pass out of the picture. Sliced bread is a radical departure in the baking industry and although the Weber Baking Company will continue to supply the trade with unsliced loaves, the company anticipates an unusual run on the ready sliced loaf. [Western Hospital Review, vol. xiv, 1929]
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slice (n.2)

1610s, "a sharp cut," from slice (v.). As "a slicing stroke" (in golf or tennis) it is recorded from 1886.

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slicer (n.)

"one who or that which slices," 1520s, agent noun from slice (v.). Slice (n.1) for "flat, cutting instrument" is attested from late 15c.

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slit (v.)

c. 1200, slitten, "to split with a knife or sharp weapon, cleave open," from or related to Old English slitan "to slit, tear, split, rend to pieces; bite, sting; back-bite," from Proto-Germanic *slitanan "tear apart" (source also of Old Saxon slitan, Old Frisian slita, Old Norse slita, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch sliten, Dutch slijten, Old High German slizan, German schleißen "to slit"). Slice is the same word via French.

A more violent verb in Old English than after, as in slitcwealm "death by rending." From late 14c. as "make an incision."

Slit skirt, one tight and with a slit or slits up from the hem, is by 1913 (as an adjective, slit, in reference to garments decorated with slashes, is from late 14c.). A slitting-mill (1660s) cut iron plates into thin rods for making nails, etc.

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butty (n.)

"slice of bread and butter," 1855, northern English, from butter (n.) + -y (2).

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tomography (n.)

1935, from Greek tomos "slice, section" (see tome) + -graphy.

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laminar (adj.)

"made or arranged in layers," 1811, from Latin lamina "thin plate, slice, layer" (see laminate (v.)) + -ar.

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fettuccine (n.)

"pasta in the shape of long ribbons," 1922, from Italian fettuccine, plural of fettuccina, literally "little ribbon," diminutive of fetta "a slice, a ribbon" (see feta).

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sheave (n.)

"grooved wheel to receive a cord, wheel of a pulley," mid-14c., also "slice of bread" (late 14c.), related to or another form of shive (n.) "a slice, a piece," itself a word of uncertain origin and disputed relationship. The connecting notion in the two senses might be "length of wood."

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