The word flaw ("imperfection") has contradictory roots. It's the first part which was most confusing: it had a myriad of meanings proposed by all my sources, including a "spark", a "piece of snow", and a "splinter". This is extraordinarily confusing to me at least because I can't figure out how all these fit together. Supposedly, all are imperfect somehow: a single "flake" of snow is out of place by itself, a "spark" is an inconvenience and an annoyance, and a "splinter" is obviously bothersome and detracts from the perfect smooth surface of wood. How these transitioned to become each other is also very strange. Anyway, somehow "splinter" became "slab" as we go further back to the Old Norse word flaga. This traces back to the Proto-Germanic word flago, also meaning "slab", which goes to Proto-Indo-European as plak, meaning "flat", since a slab is flat.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy philosophy, trivia, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.