slick (v.)
Old English -slician (in nigslicod "newly made sleek"), from Proto-Germanic *slikojan, from base *slikaz (cognates: 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.
slick (n.)
1620s, a kind of cosmetic, from slick (v.). Meaning "smooth place on the surface of water caused by oil, etc." is attested from 1849. Meaning "a swindler, clever person" is attested from 1959.
slick (adj.)
early 14c., "smooth, glossy, sleek" (of skin or hair); sense of "clever in deception" is first recorded 1590s; that of "first-class, excellent" is from 1833. Related: Slickly; slickness.
slicker (n.)
1851, "tool for smoothing leather," from slick (v.). Meaning "waterproof raincoat" is from 1884; sense of "clever and crafty person" is from 1900.
slid
past tense and past participle of slide (v.).
slide (v.)
Old English slidan (intransitive, past tense slad, past participle sliden) "to glide, slip, fall, fall down;" figuratively "fail, lapse morally, err; be transitory or unstable," from Proto-Germanic *slidan "to slip, slide" (cognates: Old High German slito, German Schlitten "sleigh, sled"), from PIE root *sleidh- "to slide, slip" (cognates: Lithuanian slystu "to glide, slide," Old Church Slavonic sledu "track," Greek olisthos "slipperiness," olisthanein "to slip," Middle Irish sloet "slide").

Meaning "slip, lose one's footing" is from early 13c. Transitive sense from 1530s. Phrase let (something) slide "let it take its own course" is in Chaucer (late 14c.). Sliding scale in reference to payments, etc., is from 1842.
slide (n.)
1560s, from slide (v.). As a smooth inclined surface down which something can be slid, from 1680s; the playground slide is from 1890. Meaning "collapse of a hillside, landslide" is from 1660s. As a working part of a musical instrument from 1800 (as in slide-trombone, 1891). Meaning "rapid downturn" is from 1884. Meaning "picture prepared for use with a projector" is from 1819 (in reference to magic lanterns). Baseball sense is from 1886. Slide-guitar is from 1968.
slide-rule (n.)
also slide rule, mathematical calculating tool, 1838, from slide (v.) + rule (n.). So called for its method of operation. Earlier sliding-rule (1660s).
slider (n.)
1520s, "skater," agent noun from slide (v.). As a type of terrapin, from 1877; as a type of baseball pitch, 1936.
slight (adj.)
early 14c., "flat, smooth; hairless," probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse slettr "smooth, sleek," from Proto-Germanic *slikhtaz (cognates: Old Saxon slicht; Low German slicht "smooth, plain common;" Old English -sliht "level," attested in eorðslihtes "level with the ground;" Old Frisian sliucht "smooth, slight," Middle Dutch sleht "even, plain," Old High German sleht, Gothic slaihts "smooth"), probably from a collateral form of PIE *sleig- "to smooth, glide, be muddy," from root *(s)lei- "slimy" (see slime (n.)).

Sense evolution probably is from "smooth" (c.1300), to "slim, slender; of light texture," hence "not good or strong; insubstantial, trifling, inferior, insignificant" (early 14c.). Meaning "small in amount" is from 1520s. Sense of German cognate schlecht developed from "smooth, plain, simple" to "bad, mean, base," and as it did it was replaced in the original senses by schlicht, a back-formation from schlichten "to smooth, to plane," a derivative of schlecht in the old sense [Klein].
slight (v.)
c.1300, "make plain or smooth," from slight (adj.) Meaning "treat with indifference" (1590s) is from the adjective in sense of "having little worth." Related: Slighted; slighting.
slight (n.)
1550s, "small amount or weight," from slight (v.). Meaning "act of intentional neglect or ignoring out of displeasure or contempt" is from 1701, probably via 17c. phrase make a slight of (1610s).
slightly (adv.)
1520s, "slenderly;" 1590s, "in a small degree," from slight (adj.) + -ly (2).
slim (adj.)
1650s, "thin, slight, slender," from Dutch slim "bad, sly, clever," from Middle Dutch slim "bad, crooked," from Proto-Germanic *slembaz "oblique, crooked" (cognates: Middle High German slimp "slanting, awry," German schlimm "bad, cunning, unwell"). In English 17c. also sometimes with a sense "sly, cunning, crafty." Related: Slimly; slimness. With obsolete extended adjectival forms Slimsy "flimsy, unsubstantial" (1845); slimikin "small and slender" (1745). Slim Jim attested from 1887 in sense of "very thin person;" from 1902 as a type of slender cigar; from 1975 as a brand of meat snack.
slim (v.)
1808, "to scamp one's work, do carelessly or superficially," from slim (adj.). Meaning "to make slim" (a garment, etc.) is from 1862; meaning "reduce (one's) weight" is from 1930. Related: Slimmed; slimming.
slime (n.)
Old English slim "slime," from Proto-Germanic *slimaz (cognates: Old Norse slim, Old Frisian slym, Dutch slijm "slime, phlegm," German Schleim "slime"), probably related to Old English lim "birdlime; sticky substance," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slimy, sticky, slippery" (cognates: Sanskrit linati "sticks, stays, adheres to; slips into, disappears;" Russian slimak "snail;" Old Church Slavonic slina "spittle;" Old Irish sligim "to smear," leinam "I follow," literally "I stick to;" Welsh llyfn "smooth;" Greek leimax "snail," limne "marsh, pool, lake," alinein "to anoint, besmear;" Latin limus "slime, mud, mire," linere "to daub, besmear, rub out, erase"). As an insult to a person from mid-15c. Slime-mold is from 1880.
slime (v.)
"to cover with slime," 1620s, from slime (n.). Related: Slimed; sliming.
slimming (adj.)
"producing an appearance of thinness," 1925, present participle adjective from slim (v.).
slimnastics (n.)
1967 (with an isolated use from 1959), from slim (adj.) + ending abstracted from gymnastics.
slimy (adj.)
late 14c., "covered with slime; of the nature of slime," from slime (n.) + -y (2). Similar formation in Middle Dutch slimich, Dutch slijmig, German schleimig. Figurative sense of "morally repulsive" is first attested 1570s. Related: Slimily; sliminess.
sling (n.1)
c.1300, "implement for throwing stones," from an unidentified continental Germanic source (such as Middle Low German slinge "a sling"); see sling (v.). The notion probably is of a sling being twisted and twirled before it is thrown. Sense of "loop for lifting or carrying heavy objects" first recorded early 14c. Meaning "piece of cloth tied around the neck to support an injured arm" is first attested 1720.
sling (v.)
c.1200, "to knock down" using a sling, later "to throw" (mid-13c.), especially with a sling, from Old Norse slyngva, from Proto-Germanic *slingwanan (cognates: Old High German slingan, German schlingen "to swing to and fro, wind, twist;" Old English slingan "to creep, twist;" Old Frisian slinge, Middle Dutch slinge, Old High German slinga, German Schlinge "sling;" Middle Swedish slonga "noose, knot, snare"), from PIE *slengwh "to slide, make slide; sling, throw." Meaning "to hang from one point to another" (as a hammock) is from 1690s. Related: Slung; slinging.
sling (n.2)
sweetened, flavored liquor drink, 1807, American English, of unknown origin; perhaps literally "to throw back" a drink (see sling (v.)), or from German schlingen "to swallow."
sling (n.3)
"act of throwing," 1520s, from sling (v.).
slinger (n.)
"soldier armed with a sling, late 14c., agent noun from sling (v.).
slingshot (n.)
1849, from sling (v.) + shot (n.). As a verb, from 1969. The piece of stone or metal hurled from it is a sling-stone (late 14c.). A slung-shot (1848) was a rock wrapped in a sling, used as a weapon by roughs and criminals.
slink (v.)
Old English slincan "to creep, crawl" (of reptiles), from Proto-Germanic *slinkan (cognates: Swedish slinka "to glide," Dutch slinken "to shrink, shrivel;" related to sling (v.)). Of persons, attested from late 14c. Related: Slinked; slinking.
slinky (adj.)
"sinuous and slender," of women or clothes, 1921, from slink + -y (2). Related: Slinkily; slinkiness. As a proprietary name (with capital from S-) for a coil of spring marketed as a toy, 1948, by James Industries Inc., Philadelphia, U.S.A.
slip (v.)
early 14c., "to escape, to move softly and quickly," from an unrecorded Old English word or cognate Middle Low German slippen "to glide, slide," from Proto-Germanic *slipan (cognates: Old High German slifan, Middle Dutch slippen, German schleifen "to glide, slide"), from PIE *sleib-, from root *(s)lei- "slimy, sticky, slippery" (see slime (n.)).

From mid-14c. with senses "lose one's footing," "slide out of place," "fall into error or fault." Sense of "pass unguarded or untaken" is from mid-15c. That of "slide, glide" is from 1520s. Transitive sense from 1510s; meaning "insert surreptitiously" is from 1680s. Related: Slipped; slipping. To slip up "make a mistake" is from 1855; to slip through the net "evade detection" is from 1902.
slip (n.2)
in various senses from slip (v.). Meaning "act of slipping" is from 1590s. Meaning "mistake, minor fault, blunder" is from 1610s. Sense of "woman's sleeveless garment" (1761) is from notion of something easily slipped on or off (compare sleeve). To give (someone) the slip "escape from" is from 1560s. Meaning "landing place for ships" is mid-15c.; more technical sense in ship-building is from 1769. Slip of the tongue (1725) is from earlier slip of the pen (1650s), which makes more sense as an image.
slip (n.1)
mid-15c., "edge of a garment;" 1550s, "narrow strip," probably from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch slippe "cut, slit," possibly related to Old English toslifan "to split, cleave." Sense of "narrow piece of paper" (as in pink slip) in 1680s.
slip (n.3)
"potter's clay," mid-15c., "mud, slime," from Old English slypa, slyppe "slime, paste, pulp, soft semi-liquid mass," related to slupan "to slip" (see sleeve).
slip (n.4)
"sprig or twig for planting or grafting, small shoot," late 15c., of uncertain origin. Compare Middle Dutch slippe, German schlippe, schlipfe "cut, slit, strip." Hence "young person of small build" (1580s, as in a slip of a girl); see slip (n.1).
slipknot (n.)
also slip-knot, 1650s, from slip (v.) + knot (n.). One which easily can be "slipped" or undone by pulling on the loose end of the last loop.
slippage (n.)
1850, "act of slipping," from slip (v.) + -age.
slipper (n.)
type of loose, light indoor footwear, late 15c., agent noun from slip (v.), the notion being of a shoe that is "slipped" onto the foot. Old English had slypescoh "slipper," literally "slip-shoe."
slippery (adj.)
"having a slippery surface," c.1500, from Middle English sliper (adj.) "readily slipping," from Old English slipor "slippery, having a smooth surface" (see slip (v.)) + -y (2). Metaphoric sense of "deceitful, untrustworthy" is first recorded 1550s. Related: Slipperiness. In a figurative sense, slippery slope is first attested 1844. Slippery elm (1748) so called for its mucilaginous inner bark.
slipshod (adj.)
1570s, "wearing slippers or loose shoes," from slip (v.) + shod "wearing shoes." Sense of "slovenly, careless" is from 1815, probably from the notion of appearing like one in slippers, or whose shoes are down at the heels.
slipstream (n.)
also slip-stream, 1913, from slip (n.2) + stream (n.).
slit (v.)
c.1200, from or related to Old English slitan "to slit, tear, split, rend to pieces; bite, sting; back-bite," from Proto-Germanic *slitan (cognates: Old Saxon slitan, Old Frisian slita, Old Norse slita, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch sliten, Dutch slijten, Old High German slizan, German schleißen "to slit"). A more violent verb in Old English than after, as in slitcwealm "death by rending." Slit skirt is attested from 1913.A slitting-mill (1660s) cut iron plates into thin rods for making nails, etc.
slit (n.)
mid-13c., "long cut or rent (in clothes), incision," from slit (v.). Slang sense of "vulva" is attested from 1640s. Old English had slit (n.) with a sense of "a rending, bite; backbiting."
slither (v.)
early 15c., variant of Middle English slidder "to slip, slide," from Old English slidrian "to slip, slide on a loose slope," a frequentative form of slidan "to slide" (see slide (v.)). For spelling change, compare gather. Meaning "to walk in a sliding manner" is attested from 1848. In reference to reptile motion, attested from 1839. Related: Slithered; slithering.
slither (n.)
"slithering movement," 1861, from slither (v.).
sliver (n.)
"splinter of wood," late 14c., from obsolete verb sliven "to split, cleave," from Old English toslifan "to split, cleave" (see sleave).
Sloane Square
neighborhood near Chelsea in London, named for Sir Hans Sloane who purchased the manor of Chelsea in 1712 and whose collections contributed to the British Museum. Previous to development the place was known as Great Bloody Field ["Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names"]. Sloane Ranger attested from 1975, with a play on Lone Ranger.
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).
slobber (v.)
c.1400, probably of imitative origin; compare Frisian slobberje "to slurp," Middle Low German slubberen "slurp," Middle Dutch overslubberen "wade through a ditch." Related: Slobbered; slobbering. As noun from c.1400 as "mud, slime," 1755 as "saliva." Congreve has slabber (v.), from Middle Dutch slabberen.
slobbery (adj.)
late 14c., "muddy," from slobber + -y (2).
sloe (n.)
fruit of the blackthorn, Old English slah (plural slan), from Proto-Germanic *slaikhwon (cognates: Middle Dutch sleeu, Dutch slee, Old High German sleha, German Schlehe), from PIE *sleie- "blue, bluish, blue-black" (see livid).

The vowel has been influenced by that in the old plural form, which according to OED persisted into the 17c. Scottish slae preserves the older vowel. Sloe-eyed is attested from 1804; sloe gin first recorded 1878.
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.