I noticed in Dutch the word for "addict" includes the word "slave". Namely "verslaafde" wherein "slaaf" is slave. One might say the word as a whole suggests enslavement. I find this striking as addiction can be seen as a form of submission.

I've asked AI but could not find other languages that reference slave or submission in the word for addict.

I'm wondering if there are any.

  • You need to provide research. Don't you have a Dutch dictionary since you appear to be Dutch? Also, this is not linguistics, it's etymology.
    – Lambie
    Oct 26, 2023 at 15:54
  • 1
    @Lambie Etymology is part of linguistics. There’s a restriction (that I don’t actually agree with, but it was decided on by the community) that questions of etymology are only considered on-topic here on this site if they deal with the systematicity of historical development and cognacy, so this would likely be considered off-topic – but that doesn’t mean etymology is non-linguistic, just that it’s not inherently on-topic here. (I would be more likely to consider it off-topic because it’s asking for an open-ended list of examples.) Oct 26, 2023 at 16:06
  • @JanusBahsJacquet I would say it the other way around. In any event, making a minimal effort is a good idea especially when the OP speaks Dutch and most of us do not.
    – Lambie
    Oct 26, 2023 at 16:08
  • Another example is Scottish Gaelic tràill, which means both ‘slave’ and ‘addict’. It was borrowed from Old Norse þræll just like the now rather archaic English term thrall, also meaning a slave. And of course, even in regular English, we can describe someone as being ‘a slave to [something drug-like]’, which is essentially describing an addiction. Oct 26, 2023 at 16:09
  • Lambie I've added some more information. I don't know what you mean in terms of research I've looked extensively on the topic online. Oct 26, 2023 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


How about English? "Addict" is borrowed from Latin addictus, passive participle of addīcō, "deliver, surrender, enslave (a person to another person)".

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