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The similarity between this English verb and Serbo-Croation šljapati/шљапати, Bulgarian шляпам is too manifest to be dismissed. Petar Skok did not mention any relation, but explained that it is onomatopædic. As far as I know it is præsent only in English, (related somehow to German Schlappe (defeat) according to slap in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913) and the two Slavic languages. Many theories about Germano-Slavic kinship were widespread in the past, but often rejected, but in mine opinion this similarity is not accidental. What do others think about that? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 19:56, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

"To slap" as in to hit, esp. with the palm? It seems onomatopoeic to me. In Dutch, slap means either “soft” (alone or in compounds) or “sleep” (in other compounds), but this similarity is immaterial as it ignores sound shifts. What about slap being the Croatian, Serbian, and Slovenian word for “waterfall” or “cascade”? Where the water seems to "slap" the earth (???). (Pokorny, et. al would be laughing their heads of if they read this…). Keep in mind, too, that parallel innovation is very common among echoic/imitative terms. Oftentimes they will differ considerably; e.g., English bang ~ Spanish zis, both for the sound made by a gun. À propos the similarities between Teutonic and Slavic languages: yes, there are many: EN: loaf (originally meaning bread), DE: Laib, RU: хлеб (xleb) —vs.— FR: pain, GA: arán • EN: water, DE: Wasser, RU: вода (voda) —vs.— FR: eau, GA: uisce • EN: deal, DE: Teil, RU: доля (dolja) —vs.— FR: partie, GA: cuid, etc. But then again there are similarites between Slavic and Baltic languages that neither of them shares with Teutonic, same goes with certain Teutonic and Indo-Iranian isoglosses. Tell me what you think.—Strabismus 23:26, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your opinion. However, the astounding was that the Bg and SC words shew exactly the same meaning as the English one (kick so that a cetain sound is emitted) slap and not a vague connection like waterfall. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 14:53, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Yea. I hadſt merely caſt the “waterfall” notion thereïn. Nathleſs, do you not fancy that thiſ is perchance onomatopoetic? Aye, if theſe wordſ do spring from yᵉ same waterſ then, verily, ’t would certainly be odd that they shew up not elſewhere.Strabismus 22:28, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, Hrvatski enciklopedijski rječnik on šljȁpati says:

  1. hodati po blatu i sl. (predodžba da se pri tome čuje šljap); šljapkati (Translation: to walk on mud and similar (a conception of hearing šljap [ʃʎap] along)
  2. hodati vukući noge nespretno i ružno, ne moći dizati stopalo u hodu (kao kad papuče spadaju s nogu); lapati (Translation: to walk by dragging one's feet clumsily and ugly, not being able to elevate one's feet during the walk (as if slippers falling off one's feet))

So, I can't really see any kind of similarity between these two meanings, and the meanings of the English verb to slap. What does шляпам mean in Bulgarian?
SCr. slȃp (waterfall) is of Common Slavic *solpъ origin, and is unrelated to this verb, obviously onomatopoetic IMHO (and hence not really etymologizable). --Ivan Štambuk 12:37, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Hm, шляпам means to kick or hit lightly so that a sounds is emitted. It can mean emit a specific sound while wading through a morass or liquid, as I understand your two definitions, but the first meaning is more proliferated and I am baffled that it is missing in SC... Anyway, the emission of sound is at hand, but if no source corroborates the similarity, I suppose I should discard this contrivance of mine. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 13:34, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to discourage you, Bogorm, but it really does seem to be onomatopoeic, the sound s(/ˇ)lVp. Think of <POP!>. That has a labial coda and they both have to do with hitting-sounds. The English word "bounce" is supposedly from German bums. Y'know, with echoic/imitative words and hypocorisms it's really difficult to trace the words back to a native root. Many such words are likely to be understood universally, more or less.—Strabismus 18:45, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Last modified on 27 August 2013, at 19:04