THRALL, a slave, a captive or bondman, a term especially applied to the serfs (Lat. sent) of the early northern Teutonic peoples. It only occurs in Old English as a word borrowed from the Norse, the proper term in Old English being " theow " (fyeow); the Icel. ]>raell (Dan. trad, Swed. tr&T) is probably represented by O. H. Ger. dregil, trigil, Irikil, a slave, and would therefore be derived from the root meaning " to run," seen in O. Eng. \raegian, Goth, thagjan, cf. Gr. rpk\(iv; Skeat (Elym. Diet., 1898) compares the " trochilus " (Gr. rpoxiXos), the small bird that according to Herodotus waits or attends on the crocodile and picks insects out of his teeth.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)