Re: Sluefoot, slew foot, slew-foot, slue-foot, slufoot

<dgrubbs@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I was wondering about the origins and meaning of: sluefoot, slew foot,
slew-foot, slue-foot, slufoot. In particular, there was a blues
player, Sluefoot Joe, as well as a stride pianist, Slew Foot Nelson. I
wanted to know what sluefoot meant to them.

I have found a few different meanings:

'Slew footed' or slew-footed appears to be the opposite of 'pigeon

"Old Slew Foot" seems to refer to the devil in some areas.

In ice hockey, 'slew-footing' someone is an illegal way of tripping

There was a dance at one point called the 'sluefoot', though I think
this was later than the musicians I was interested in.

I would guess that Sluefoot Joe's feet stuck out, but perhaps he was a
devilishly good dancer, or a bad dancer who tripped up everyone else on
the floor. Does anyone know what the usage of this term might have
been in the African-American community of the early 20th century?

Merriam-Webster, 11th edition, does not have the combination "slew foot"
or "slew footed," but the relevant meaning of "slew" is:

Main Entry: 3slew
Variant(s): also slue \slü\
Function: verb
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: circa 1769
transitive verb
1 : to turn (as a telescope or a ship's spar) about
a fixed point that is usually the axis
2 : to cause to skid : VEER <slew a car around a
intransitive verb
1 : to turn, twist, or swing about : PIVOT
2 : SKID

This leads me to guess that a slew foot would not be in direct cohtrol
of the ankle and leg, but would swing about or skid aimlessly. Can
anyone confirm?

Best - Donna Richoux