Origin of SlavMiddle English Sclave from Medieval Latin Slavus: see slave
Origin of SlavMiddle English Sclave from Medieval Latin Sclāvus from Late Greek Sklabos alteration of Old Slavic Slověninŭ
Middle English sclave, from Medieval Latin sclavus or Sclavus, from Byzantine Greek Î£ÎºÎ»Î¬Î²Î¿Ï‚ (SklÃ¡bos), from earlier Î£ÎºÎ»Î±Î²á¿†Î½Î¿Ï‚ (SklabÄ“nos), plural Î£ÎºÎ»Î±Î²á¿†Î½Î¿Î¹ (SklabÄ“noi), from Proto-Slavic *slovÄ›nji, *slovÄ›ne (“those who speak meaningfully"), singular *slovÄ›ninÑŠ. Compare Old Church Slavonic ÑÐ»Ð¾Ð²Ñ£Ð½Ð¸ (slovÄ›ni), ÑÐ»Ð¾Ð²Ñ£Ð½Ñ” (slovÄ›ne, “Thessalonian Slavs"), Old East Slavic ÑÐ»Ð¾Ð²Ñ£Ð½Ðµ (slovÄ›ne, “Slavs near Novgorod").
Commonly thought to derive from Proto-Slavic *slovo (“word"), thus meaning "those who speak meaningfully" and contrasting with *nÄ›mÑŒcÑŒ (“foreigner", literally “dumb/mute person"). However, that word is an s-stem and thus the inflectional stem of that word is *sloves-, so it cannot be the direct origin as it would lead to an expected form *slovesÄ›ni (compare Russian ÑÐ»Ð¾Ð²ÐµÑÐ½Ð¾ÑÑ‚ÑŒ (slovesnost')). Thus the most likely origin is the verb *sluti (“to be known"). Both words ultimately derive from Proto-Indo-European *á¸±lew- (“fame").
- Alternative form of Slavey.