slew (n.1)

"swampy place," 1708, North American variant of slough.

slew (v.)

"to turn, swing, twist," 1834, earlier slue (1769), a nautical word, of unknown origin. The specific sea sense seems to be "turn (something) on its axis or without shifting it." Slewed (1801) is old nautical slang for "drunk." Slew-foot "clumsy person who walks with feet turned out" is from 1896.

slew (n.2)

"large number," 1839, American English, according to OED (1989) from Irish sluagh "a host, crowd, multitude," from Celtic and Balto-Slavic *sloug- "help, service" (see slogan).

updated on January 04, 2023