Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/260

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244
SLOGAN—SLOVAKS

SLOGAN, the war-cry of the Highland clans. It was the gathering call of the clan, often the name of the clan, the place of meeting, and the like, and was uttered when charging in battle. The Gaelic word, of which " slogan " is the English adaptation, is sluagh-ghairm, from sluagh, army, host, and gairm, call, cry. A variant form of " slogan " is " slogorne," which has given rise to an invented word " slughorn," used by Chatterton (Battle of Hastings, ii. 10) and by Browning (Childe Roland) as if the term meant some kind of war-trumpet or horn. Skeat (Elym. Diet. 1898, Errata and Addenda) has shown that Chatterton used an edition of Gavin Douglas's translation of Virgil, where" slogorne " is spelled " slughorne," and the context, " The deaucht trumpet blawis the brag of were; the slughorne, enseule or the wache cry went for the battall all suld be reddy," misled him.


SLONIM, a town of Russia, in the government of Grodno, 155 m. by rail S.E. of the city of Grodno and 20 m. from the railway from Moscow to Warsaw, on the high craggy banks of the Shchara. Pop. (1883), 21,110; (1897) 15,893, including many Jews. It derives its importance from the river, which is navigable and joins the Oginsky canal, connecting the Niemen with the Dnieper. Corn, tar, and especially timber are exported. Slonim is mentioned in 1040, when Yaroslav, prince of Kiev, defeated the Lithuanians in its neighbourhood. In 1241 the Mongols pillaged it and burned its wooden fort. Owing to its position between Galician Russia and Lithuania it often changed hands, until it was conquered by the Lithuanians in the 14th century. From 1631 to 1685 it was the seat of the Lithuanian diet and became a flourishing city. In the 18th century, under the hetman Oginsky, a canal was dug to connect the Shchara with the Dnieper. Oginsky embellished the city and founded there a printing-office. Russia annexed the town in 1795.


SLOOP, a type of small sailing-vessels which have one mast rigged " fore and aft," carrying a mainsail, gaff-topsail, jib and fore staysail. There is little in rig to distinguish a sloop from a "cutter," and the terms are used indiscriminately; sometimes a distinction is drawn by a sloop having a fixed and a cutter a running bowsprit. In the sailing and early steam days of naval warfare, a "sloop" was a small corvette, ship-rigged, with all the guns mounted on the upper deck. Like so many nautical terms the word was borrowed from the Dutch, viz. sloep, boat. This is generally taken to be an adaptation of the Fr. chaloupe. Span, and Port, chalupa, cf. Ital. scia- luppa, Eng. "shallop," a light boat. These probably represent some native word borrowed by Spanish or Portuguese sailors in the East or American Indies. Other etymologists distinguish the Dutch and French words and refer sloep to the common Teutonic root, meaning to glide, to creep, seen in " slip," Ger. schleifen, schliefen, &c.


SLOTH, the name for the various representatives of a group of arboreal tropical American mammals belonging to the order Edentata (q-v.). Sloths are some of the most completely arboreal of all mammals, living entirely among the branches of trees; and usually hanging beneath them, back downwards, and clinging with the hook-line organs to which the terminations of their limbs are reduced. When obliged to descend to the ground, which they rarely, if ever, do voluntarily, sloths — owing to the unequal length of their limbs and the peculiar conformation of their feet, which allow the animals to rest only on the outer edge— crawl along a level surface with considerable diffi- culty. Though generally slow and inactive, even when in their natural haunts, they can on occasions travel with considerable rapidity along the branches, and as they do not leap, like most other arboreal creatures, they avail themselves of the swaying of the boughs by the wind to pass from tree to tree. They feed on leaves and young shoots and fruits, which they gather in their mouth, the fore-limbs aiding in dragging boughs within reach, but not being used as hands. When sleeping, sloths roll themselves up in a ball, and, owing to the dry shaggy character of their hair, are inconspicuous among the mosses and lichens with which the trees of their native forests abound. The con- cealment thus afforded is heightened in some species by the peculiar greenish tint of the hair, due not to the colour of the hair itself, but to the presence upon its surface of an alga, the lodgment of which is facilitated by the fluted or rough surface of the exterior, and its growth is promoted by the dampness of the atmosphere in the gloomy tropical forests. Sloths are

The Unau or Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni).

nocturnal, silent, inoffensive and solitary animals, and produce usually but one young at birth. They appear to show an almost reptilian tenacity of life, surviving the most severe injuries and large doses of poisons, and exhibiting longer persistence of irritability of muscular tissue after death than other mammals. Several other animals, such as the African potto-lemurs, and the Asiatic lorises, are popularly called sloths.


SLOUGH, a market town in the Wycombe parliamentary division of Buckinghamshire, England, 18 m. W. of London by the Great Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901), 11,453. It lies in the flat valley of the Thames, nearly 2 m. from the river at Eton and Windsor, and is wholly modern in appearance. The chief public building is the Leopold Institute and Public Hall (1887), a memorial of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany. The British Orphan Asylum is also in the town. The parish church of Upton-cum-Chalvey, St Laurence, has a Norman doorway and other portions of the same period. It is the burial-place of Sir William Herschel, who lived in the vicinity, set up his great telescope here, and made many of his astronomical discoveries.


SLOVAKS (SlovAk, fern. Slovenka, adj. slovensky, formerly called Slovene, but to be distinguished from the Slovenes of Carinthia, in Magyar Tdt), a Slav people numbering about 2,500,000 and mostly living in the northern counties of Hungary. On the west they extend into the neighbouring districts of Lower Austria and Moravia where they march with the Germans and the kindred Moravians, being bounded by the river Morava and the Jablunka Mountains; on the north they touch the Poles along the frontiers of Silesia and Galicia; on the east about 22 E. they meet the Little Russians along an indented boundary; on the south they have the Magyars as neighbours along a line joining Pressburg and Zemplin. Within these limits, save for the Germans in the towns, the Slovaks are not much mixed: they have isolated settlements throughout the western half of Hungary extending far enough south to meet similar settlements of Servians. Their chief centre is S. Marton on the Turocz. The Slovaks seem to have occupied this territory in the 5th or 6th century a.d. and tdso to have stretched far to the south; they formed part of Samo's empire (middle of 7th century), but were subject to the Avars and the Franks, and then formed part of Great Moravia until that kingdom was in 907 conquered by the Magyars, who displaced or assimilated the southern Slovaks and have ever since been lords of the rest, save for a short time when they were under Boleslav the Brave (a.d. 973) of Poland, and early in the 14th century when a local