Recently I was thinking about why “murder” is worse than “manslaughter”. Not that there’s really a good way to kill someone, but in law we differentiate between planning to kill and it just happening. What I wondered though was why “manslaughter” was the word for the lesser evil.
Interesting thing was that the differentiation of the words was because people had to differentiate the crimes; nothing inherent in the origins or use of either word led to it being picked. Man-slaughter described killing a man, just as animal-slaughter described killing animals (for food).
To my ears, I think “manslaughter” sounds worse than “murder”. But that’s just me!