The aim of this contribution is to demonstrate that the commonly accepted etymological link between Lat. laxus ‘wide, spacious, loose’ and Lat. languēre ‘be faint, weak’ is not only formally difficult, but also semantically unjustified. Discussing the earliest attestations and derivatives of laxus against the backdrop of general morphosemantic considerations, I propose deriving this adjective and the enigmatic Lat. locus m. ‘place’ from the root *√slek, whose possible semantics and continuants in other IE languages are dealt with in the remainder of the paper.