Abarim Publications' online Biblical Dictionary
According to Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, the verb claudico means:
- To limp or be lame
- To halt, waver, to be wanting, incomplete or defective.
This verb is used to indicate the kind of physical infirmity that makes a person limp or leaves him lame all together, but also the wavering of scales during weighing, or even the untrustworthiness of a shifty person.
There are two different verbs claudo. The first verb claudo means the same as claudico, namely to limp, but the other verb claudo means to shut something that is open, to close. In certain forms it even means to shut something up, or shut something in something by something, to enclose, encompass, surround, imprison, hide, confine.
The derived noun clausum denotes a confined space (think claustrophobia). This verb survives in our language in word such as clause, for instance. And via claudo to clodo to con-clodo it's related to our words conclusion and conclusive. Even our common verb "to close" comes from this Latin root, tells us the Oxford Dictionary.
Especially in a world where dangerous animals and even more dangerous people wandered about freely, enclosure must have given the Romans a sense of security. Our words conclusion and clause still reflect firmness and perpetuity.
The link to the verb claudico mentioned above is easily revealed when we realize that a limp or lame person is limited in his movements and possibly even confined to home. A lame person is a forcibly shut in person, but enclosure denotes security first and foremost.
Note that a highly similar duality exists in the Hebrew nouns צלע (sela'), meaning a side(-chamber), and צלע (sela'), meaning a limping. Perhaps this same duality emerged in Latin from the observation that someone who limps, leans on one of his sides, just like a high building can be thought of as to lean on its side aisles.