Unclear. Perhaps from Middle English slugge, from Old Norse slókr (“lazy fellow”). See also Swedish sloka (“to slouch, wilt”), related to Swedish slak (“slack, soft and flexible”) and Latin laxus (“loose, slack”).
slouch (plural slouches)
- A hanging down of the head; a drooping posture; a limp appearance
- He sat with an unenthusiastic slouch.
- Any depression or hanging down, as of a hat brim.
- The plant hung in a permanent slouch.
- Someone who is slow to act.
- 16 September 2014, Ian Jack, “Is this the end of Britishness”, in The Guardian:
- In any case, Scotland has been no slouch at national invention. The Greek temple to commemorate James Thomson wasn’t the only monument raised by the 11th Earl of Buchan, who was a friend and neighbour of Walter Scott, and as great a romancer in his obsession with ruins, battlements and fancy dress.
- (dated) An awkward, heavy, clownish fellow.
In the sense of "someone who is slow to act", sometimes used in the negative as a statement of praise. Being "no slouch" at something is generally understood to mean that the subject is respectably good in the field described.
- (intransitive) To hang or droop; to adopt a limp posture
- Do not slouch when playing a flute.
- (intransitive) To walk in a clumsy, lazy manner.
- I slouched to the fridge to see if there was anything to eat.
- (transitive) To cause to hang down or droop; to depress.
- 1896, Duncan Campbell Scott, In the Village of Viger, page 107:
- […] then he slouched his head down on the table and pretended to sleep.
- 2012, Kim Vogel Sawyer, When Hope Blossoms, page 281:
- Disappointment slouched him into the pew.