Old English lam "clay, mud, clayey or muddy earth," from Proto-Germanic *laimaz (source also of Old Saxon lemo, Dutch leem, German Lehm "loam"), from PIE root *(s)lei- "slimy" (source also of Latin limus "mud;" see slime (n.)).
In early use also the stuff from which God made man in His image. As the technical name for a type of highly fertile clayey soil, it is attested from 1660s. As a verb from c. 1600. Related: Loamed; loaming. Loamshire as a name for an imaginary typical rural English county is from "Adam Bede" (1859).
adjective suffix, "full of or characterized by," from Old English -ig, from Proto-Germanic *-iga- (source also of Dutch, Danish, German -ig, Gothic -egs), from PIE -(i)ko-, adjectival suffix, cognate with elements in Greek -ikos, Latin -icus (see -ic). Originally added to nouns in Old English; used from 13c. with verbs, and by 15c. even with other adjectives (for example crispy).