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what is a slave

1
Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: the rock Sent: 12/28/2003 4:56:33 PM
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slave.
One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household.
One who is abjectly subservient to a specified person or influence: "I was still the slave of education and prejudice" (Edward Gibbon).
One who works extremely hard.
A machine or component controlled by another machine or component.
intr.v. slaved, slav·ing, slaves
To work very hard or doggedly; toil.
To trade in or transport slaves.


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[Middle English sclave, from Old French esclave, from Medieval Latin sclvus, from Sclvus, Slav (from the widespread enslavement of captured Slavs in the early Middle Ages) ; see Slav.]
Word History: The derivation of the word slave encapsulates a bit of European history and explains why the two words slaves and Slavs are so similar; they are, in fact, historically identical. The word slave first appears in English around 1290, spelled sclave. The spelling is based on Old French esclave from Medieval Latin sclavus, "Slav, slave," first recorded around 800. Sclavus comes from Byzantine Greek sklabos (pronounced sklävs) "Slav," which appears around 580. Sklavos approximates the Slavs' own name for themselves, the Slovnci, surviving in English Slovene and Slovenian. The spelling of English slave, closer to its original Slavic form, first appears in English in 1538. Slavs became slaves around the beginning of the ninth century when the Holy Roman Empire tried to stabilize a German-Slav frontier. By the 12th century stabilization had given way to wars of expansion and extermination that did not end until the Poles crushed the Teutonic Knights at Grunwald in 1410.·As far as the Slavs' own self-designation goes, its meaning is, understandably, better than "slave"; it comes from the Indo-European root *kleu-, whose basic meaning is "to hear" and occurs in many derivatives meeaning "renown, fame." The Slavs are thus "the famous people." Slavic names ending in -slav incorporate the same word, such as Czech Bohu-slav, "God's fame," Russian Msti-slav, "vengeful fame," and Polish Stani-slaw, "famous for withstanding (enemies)."



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