This unpleasant term is used these days to refer to an immoral or sexually promiscuous woman, but the origin of the term had a more innocuous meaning. It actually meant a woman who did not keep her room tidy. Another early meaning was kitchen maid or drudge. Only later did it begin to mean immorality of a sexual type. In Thomas Hoccleve’s 1402 Letter to Cupid, “The foulest slutte of al a toune.”
In Victorian English, sluts wool referred to the little piles of
dust that gather on the floor if it was not swept.