Etymology
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snail (n.)
Old English snægl, from Proto-Germanic *snagila (source also of Old Saxon snegil, Old Norse snigill, Danish snegl, Swedish snigel, Middle High German snegel, dialectal German Schnegel, Old High German snecko, German Schnecke "snail"), from *snog-, variant of PIE root *sneg- "to crawl, creep; creeping thing" (see snake (n.)). The word essentially is a diminutive form of Old English snaca "snake," which literally means "creeping thing." Also formerly used of slugs. Symbolic of slowness at least since c. 1000; snail's pace is attested from c. 1400.
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cochlea (n.)

"spiral cavity of the inner ear of most vertebrate animals," 1680s, from Latin cochlea "snail shell," from Greek kokhlias "snail, screw," etc., from kokhlos "shell-fish with a spiral shell, sea-snail, land-snail," which is perhaps related to konkhos "mussel, conch." Related: Cochlear.

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dodman (n.)

"a snail shell," by 1540s, of uncertain origin.

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escargot (n.)
"edible snail," 1892, from French escargot, from Old French escargol "snail" (14c.), from Provençal escaragol, ultimately from Vulgar Latin *coculium, from classical Latin conchylium "edible shellfish, oyster" (see cockle (n.1)). The form of the word in Provençal and French seems to have been influenced by words related to scarab.
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slug (n.1)
"shell-less land snail," 1704, originally "lazy person" (early 15c.); related to sluggard.
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limaceous (adj.)

"pertaining to slugs," 1650s, with -ous + Latin limax (genitive limacis) "snail, slug," from Greek leimax, from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime" (see slime (n.)). The Greek word is cognate with Russian slimák "snail," Lithuanian sliekas "earthworm," and the first element in Old English slaw-wyrm "slow-worm."

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conker (n.)

"snail shell" (said to date from 1847), also "horse chestnut" (said to date from 1886), both said to be from children's game of conkers (q.v.).

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whelk (n.)
marine snail with a spiral shell, Old English weoloc, wioloc, from Proto-Germanic *weluka- (source also of Middle Dutch willoc, Dutch wulk), perhaps from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve;" compare volute). The unetymological spelling with wh- dates from 15c.
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conkers (n.)

"child's game played with horse chestnuts," originally with snail shells, 1876, probably a variant of conquer. The goal was to break the other player's item.

In the boy's game of conkers the apexes of two shells are pressed together until one is broken, the owner of the other being the victor. [C. Clough Robinson, "A Glossary of Words Pertaining to the Dialect of Mid-Yorkshire," 1876]
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slime (n.)
Old English slim "slime," from Proto-Germanic *slimaz (source also of Old Norse slim, Old Frisian slym, Dutch slijm "slime, phlegm," German Schleim "slime"), probably related to Old English lim "birdlime; sticky substance," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slimy, sticky, slippery" (source also of Sanskrit linati "sticks, stays, adheres to; slips into, disappears;" Russian slimak "snail;" Old Church Slavonic slina "spittle;" Old Irish sligim "to smear," leinam "I follow," literally "I stick to;" Welsh llyfn "smooth;" Greek leimax "snail," limne "marsh, pool, lake," alinein "to anoint, besmear;" Latin limus "slime, mud, mire," linere "to daub, besmear, rub out, erase"). As an insult to a person from mid-15c. Slime-mold is from 1880.
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