Entries linking to Slavic
late 14c., Sclave, from Medieval Latin Sclavus (c. 800), from Byzantine Greek Sklabos (c. 580), from Proto-Slavic *sloveninu "a Slav," probably related to *slovo "word, speech," which suggests the name originally identified a member of a speech community (compare Old Church Slavonic Nemici "Germans," related to nemu "dumb;" Greek heterophonos "foreign," literally "of different voice;" and Old English þeode, which meant both "race" and "language").
Max Vasmer, the authority for Slavic etymologies, rejects a connection to *slava "glory, fame," which, however, influenced Slav via folk etymology. This is the -slav in personal names (such as Russian Miroslav, literally "peaceful fame;" Mstislav "vengeful fame;" Jaroslav "famed for fury;" Czech Bohuslav "God's glory;" Latinized Wenceslas "having greater glory"), perhaps from PIE root *kleu- "to hear."
In English, it was spelled Slave c. 1788-1866, influenced by French and German Slave. As an adjective from 1876.
Middle English -ik, -ick, word-forming element making adjectives, "having to do with, having the nature of, being, made of, caused by, similar to," from French -ique and directly from Latin -icus or from cognate Greek -ikos "in the manner of; pertaining to." From PIE adjective suffix *-(i)ko, which also yielded Slavic -isku, adjectival suffix indicating origin, the source of the -sky (Russian -skii) in many surnames. In chemistry, indicating a higher valence than names in -ous (first in benzoic, 1791).
In Middle English and after often spelled -ick, -ike, -ique. Variant forms in -ick (critick, ethick) were common in early Modern English and survived in English dictionaries into early 19c. This spelling was supported by Johnson but opposed by Webster, who prevailed.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to hear."
It forms all or part of: ablaut; Cleon; Clio; Damocles; Hercules; leer; list (v.2) "hear, harken;" listen; loud; Mstislav; Pericles; Slav; slave; Slavic; Slovene; Sophocles; Themistocles; umlaut; Wenceslas; Yugoslav.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit srnoti "hears," srosati "hears, obeys," srutah "heard of, celebrated;" Avestan sraothra "ear;" Middle Persian srod "hearing, sound;" Greek klyo "hear, be called," klytos "heard of, celebrated," kleos "report, rumor, fame glory," kleio "make famous;" Latin cluere "to hear oneself called, be spoken of," inclutus "renowned, famous;" Armenian lu "known;" Lithuanian klausau, klausyti "to hear," šlovė "splendor, honor;" Old Church Slavonic slusati "to hear," slava "fame, glory," slovo "word;" Old Irish ro-clui-nethar "hears," clunim "I hear," clu "fame, glory," cluada "ears," Irish cloth "noble, brave;" Welsh clywaf "I hear," clod "praise, fame;" Old English hlud "loud," hlysnan "to listen, hear," hleoðor "tone, tune;" Old High German hlut "sound;" Gothic hiluþ "listening, attention."
updated on October 10, 2013