I'm marvelously fond of the Italian word "fango," which translates into English as "mud." "Fango" is expressive of the matter which it describes. To my ear, the word fango sounds slimy and disreputable, perhaps even repulsive, while its English counterpart "mud" is bland and lacks character. And "fangoso" is so much more dramatic than "muddy." But why fango? How did fango infiltrate the Italian language? The Latin word for mud is "lutum," which would naturally yield Italian "luto", which, as it happens, is a word that does exist, but, so far, one that I've encountered only in dictionaries. Fango it is, and gladly. Let us revel in fango.
Fango, according to my bank of etymological resources, appears to be of Germanic origin and a distant cousin to the English word "fen," "a low land covered in whole or part by water." Lots of fango in that there fen, obviously. There's also a rare (my dictionary says 'poetical') French word "fange," for mud, but the more common word is boue. Boue is one of a handful of French words (other than toponyms) that are of Gaulish origin. So that when it came to mud, both the Italian and French languages adopted indigenous rather than Latin words. And for good reason: if there's any substance that is common rather than learned, it's mud.
"Fango" bears no relation to English "fang." Fang is an oversized tooth, but not in its earliest appearances. Old English fang denoted plunder or booty, "a seizing or taking." The root meaning of grasp or capture is present in the name of Good Master Fang, an ineffectual officer of the law in Shakespeare's The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth. Yet fang as unquestionably tooth or toothy in Duke Senior's metaphor in As You Like it, where "the icy fang/ And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,... bites and blows upon my body."