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Slot – What Is It?


The word slot comes from the 17th century, when it meant to cut or provide a slot. In the nineteenth century, it took on the meaning of “dropping a coin into.” This sense was adopted in 1888. By 1940, it was used to mean “taking a position in a slot” or “fitting something into a slot.” This sense is now obsolete. Slot also refers to the area of the field hockey ice between the faceoff circles. It is also a common word for scoring area.

While it may have a singular grammatical function, it is a general-purpose tool for a variety of purposes. In fact, the word “slot” has many meanings beyond that of a simple piece of machinery. It can refer to a job assignment, a vacancy, an interior opening of a copy desk, or even a position at a newspaper. The word “slot” is also used to describe an airport or air-traffic authority.

The word “slot” originated in the late 14c., when people first used it to refer to a hollow at the base of the throat above the breastbone. The term is also associated with Old French esclot, which has an uncertain origin. A related term, “slod,” is an Old Norse word meaning’slot’. A slot machine’s pay table is listed on its face. Older slot machines may have an in-built tilt switch. Modern slot machines do not use tilt switches, but any technical fault is still termed a tilt.