Alternative form of Slavey.
Other Word Forms of Slav
Origin of Slav
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 словесность (slovesnost')). Thus the most likely origin is the verb *sluti (“to be known"). Both words ultimately derive from Proto-Indo-European *ḱlew- (“fame").
Middle English sclave, from Medieval Latin sclavus or Sclavus, from Byzantine Greek Σκλάβος (Sklábos), from earlier Σκλαβῆνος (SklabÄ“nos), plural Σκλαβῆνοι (SklabÄ“noi), from Proto-Slavic *slovÄ›nji, *slovÄ›ne (“those who speak meaningfully"), singular *slovÄ›ninÑŠ. Compare Old Church Slavonic словѣни (slovÄ›ni), словѣнє (slovÄ›ne, “Thessalonian Slavs"), Old East Slavic словѣне (slovÄ›ne, “Slavs near Novgorod").
Middle English Sclave from Medieval Latin Sclāvus from Late Greek Sklabos alteration of Old Slavic Slověninŭ
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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