Etymology
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slug (n.1)
"shell-less land snail," 1704, originally "lazy person" (early 15c.); related to sluggard.
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slug (n.2)
"lead bit," 1620s, perhaps a special use of slug (n.1), perhaps on some supposed resemblance. Meaning "token or counterfeit coin" first recorded 1881; meaning "strong drink" first recorded 1756, perhaps from slang fire a slug "take a drink," though it also may be related to Irish slog "swallow." Journalism sense is from 1925, originally a short guideline for copy editors at the head of a story.
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slug (n.3)
"a hard blow," 1830, dialectal, of uncertain origin; perhaps related to slaughter or perhaps a secondary form of slay.
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slug (v.)
"deliver a hard blow with the fist," 1862, from slug (n.3). Related: Slugged; slugging. Slugging-match is from 1878.
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slugger (n.)
1877, originally in baseball, agent noun from slug (v.). Meaning "one who hits with the fists" is from 1883.
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slugfest (n.)
1910, originally in reference to baseball, from slug (n.3) + -fest.
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slog (v.)
1824, "hit hard," probably a variant of slug (v.3) "to strike." Sense of "walk doggedly" first recorded 1872. Related: Slogged; slogger; slogging.
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slug-a-bed (n.)
also slugabed, 1590s, with bed (n.) + obsolete verb slug "be lazy, intert" (early 15c.), which is perhaps from Scandinavian (see sluggard).
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beche-de-mer (n.)
"sea-slug eaten as a delicacy in the Western Pacific," 1814, from French bêche-de-mer, literally "spade of the sea," a folk-etymology alteration of Portuguese bicho do mar "sea-slug," literally "worm of the sea."
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loach (n.)
small edible European fish, mid-14c., from Old French loche "loach" (13c.), also, in dialect, "slug," a word of unknown origin (see discussion in Gamillscheg).
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