Etymology
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mire (n.)

"deep mud, bog, marsh, swampland," c. 1300, from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse myrr "bog, swamp," from Proto-Germanic *miuzja- (source of Old English mos "bog, marsh"), from PIE *meus- "damp" (see moss).

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mire (v.)

c. 1400, in figurative sense of "to involve in difficulties," from mire (n.). Literal sense of "to plunge or fix in mire, sink or stall in mud" is from 1550s; that of "to cover in mud or filth" is from c. 1500. Related: Mired; miring.

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miry (adj.)

"abounding with mud, swampy, boggy," late 14c., from mire (n.) + -y (2). Related: Miriness.

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quagmire (n.)

1570s, "soft, wet, boggy land; a marsh," from obsolete quag "bog, marsh" + mire (n.). Early spellings or related forms include quamyre (1550s), quabmire (1590s), quadmire (c. 1600), quavemire (1520s), qualmire.

The extended sense of "difficult situation, inescapable bad position" is recorded by 1766; but this seems to have been not in common use in much of 19c. (absent in "Century Dictionary," 1897, which does, however, have a verb, marked "rare," meaning "to entangle or sink in or as in a quagmire"). It revived in a narrower sense in American English in reference to stalled military actions, 1965, with reference to the U.S. war in Vietnam (popularized in the book title "The Making of a Quagmire" by David Halberstam).

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sludge (n.)
"mud, mire, ooze," 1640s, of uncertain origin, possibly a variant of Middle English slutch "mud, mire," or a variant of slush (n.).
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ooze (n.)

"fine soft mud or slime," Old English wase "soft mud, mire," from Proto-Germanic *waison (source also of Old Saxon waso "wet ground, mire," Old Norse veisa "pond of stagnant water"), probably from a PIE root meaning "wet." Modern spelling is from mid-1500s.

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slob (n.)
1780, "mud, muddy land," from Irish slab "mud, mire dirt," itself probably borrowed from English slab "muddy place" (c. 1600), from a Scandinavian source (compare Icelandic slabb "sludge"). The meaning "untidy person" is first recorded 1887, from earlier expressions such as slob of a man (1861).
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pismire (n.)

"ant," late 14c., pisse-mire (early 14c. as a surname, Henricus pessemere), from pyss "urine" (said to be in reference to the acrid smell of an anthill) + mire "an ant" (mid-13c., early 13c. as a surname), perhaps from an unattested Old English word or from Old Norse maurr "ant" (cognate with Swedish myra, Danish myre, Middle Dutch miere, Dutch mier, Crimean Gothic miera "ant"), from PIE *morwi- (see Formica (2)). Compare pissant, also Old Frisian pis-imme, Norwegian migemaur (first element from Latin mingere); early Dutch mierseycke (with seycke "urine"), Finnish kusiainen (with kusi "urine").

He is as angry as a pissemyre,
Though þat he haue al that he kan desire.
[Chaucer]

Applied contemptuously to persons from 1560s.

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moil (v.)

c. 1400, "to wet, moisten," from Old French moillier "to wet, moisten" (12c., Modern French mouiller), from Vulgar Latin *molliare, from Latin mollis "soft," from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft." Sense of "drudge, labor, toil" (1540s) probably is via the notion of "to labor in dirt or mire." Related: Moiled; moiling.

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slick (v.)
Old English -slician (in nigslicod "newly made sleek"), from Proto-Germanic *slikojan, from base *slikaz (source also of Old Norse slikr "smooth," Old High German slihhan "to glide," German schleichen "to creep, crawl, sneak," Dutch slijk "mud, mire"), from PIE *sleig- "to smooth, glide, be muddy," from root *(s)lei- "slimy" (see slime (n.)). Related: Slicked; slicking.
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