For a meal that has a lot of cultural significance, the word "cholent" has a rather simple and literal meaning. Most believe that cholent is formed from the French words "chaud," which means hot, and "lent," which means slow. With the words together, saying "cholen"’ is essentially the same as saying "hot and slow," which is exactly how the dish is cooked!
But why would a traditional Jewish dish have a French name? Well, prior to the Crusades, there was actually a significant population of Jews in France. That’s probably where an early form of the dish developed.
Eventually, the Jews in France were forcibly moved to Germany, and it there that they probably started stewing their cholent overnight to avoid doing work on the Sabbath. When it was time for Shabbat dinner, they could simply pour out the food that they had started cooking days before!
The slow-cooker was inspired by stories of Jewish cholent. The appliance is now used worldwide to make a variety of meals and dishes.
Irving Naxon, the patent-holder for the original Crock Pot, credited his grandmother (and her cholent) with the idea behind his design. For years, Naxon’s grandmother spoke of her Lithuanian village’s cholent, describing how it was left to stew in a pot overnight. It was for this purpose that he developed his famous appliance, thus providing the world with an easy, countertop method of making cholent and other slow-cooked dishes!