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From Middle English soile, soyle, sule (ground, earth), partly from Anglo-Norman soyl (bottom, ground, pavement), from Latin solium (seat, threshold, place), mistaken for Latin solum (ground, foundation, earth, sole of the foot); and partly from Old English sol (mud, mire, wet sand), from Proto-Germanic *sulą (mud, spot), from Proto-Indo-European *sūl- (thick liquid). Cognate with Middle Low German söle (dirt, mud), Middle Dutch sol (dirt, filth), Middle High German sol, söl (dirt, mud, mire), Danish søle (mud, muck). See also sole, soal.


Cognate with Assamese চাউল (saul), Bengali চাল (cal), Hindi चावल (cāval)