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Blend of lithe +‎ slimy,[1] coined by Lewis Carroll in 1871.[2]


  • enPR: slīʹthē, IPA(key): /ˈslaɪði/
  • (file)



  1. lithe and slimy or slithery.
    The squid wrapped its slithy tentacles around its prey.
    • 1871, Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky:
      'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves / Did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
    • 1906, Good Housekeeping, volume 43, page 130:
      She wanted to wear these slithy, snaky gowns you see in the pictures in the hallways of the $3 photographers.
    • 1914, Edgar Thomas Ainger Wigram, The Cradle of Mankind: Life in Eastern Kurdistan:
      Such a carriage is known as “an araba,” or alternatively as an yaili—a name which is probably onomatopœic, for it is about the “slithiest” thing that runs on wheels.
    • 1917, Gertrude Singleton Mathews, Treasure, page 126:
      Falling roof, hidden shafts, slithiest snakes could not have stopped me after that. I arrived in the sparkling area.
    • 2013, Jane Wilson-Howarth, A Glimpse of Eternal Snows:
      He sweeps down; a frog is pinioned / Swift arrives his faithful soul-mate / True-loves share their slithy dinner.
    • 2014, Timothy Edward, Lessons in Humiliation, page 157:
      The Beast, slithier even than the Jabberwock and certainly a deal more manxsome as a foe, grips in its claws a dreaded P45 from Piers marking the end of employment at Gussage Court.


See also[edit]


  • slithy”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  1. ^ Olga Kornienko, Grinin L, Ilyin I, Herrmann P, Korotayev A (2016) “Social and Economic Background of Blending”, in Globalistics and Globalization Studies: Global Transformations and Global Future[1], Volgograd: Uchitel Publishing House, →ISBN, pages 220–225
  2. ^ Lewis Carroll (1871) “Humpty Dumpty”, in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There:Well, ‘slithy’ means ‘lithe and slimy.’ ‘Lithe’ is the same as ‘active.’ You see, it’s like a portmanteau—there are two meanings packed up into one word.