The title is a figure of speech from the Bible (Daniel 2:33-45) used to indicate a weakness or a hidden flaw in the character of a greatly admired or respected person:
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image ... his feet part of iron and part of clay. ... And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken."
The script used in the book to represent Morporkian being written by a golem resembles the Hebrew alphabet, a reference to golems' origins in Jewish mythology. (The script used by golems when writing Golem is very different. See Going Postal.)
The cabal order Meshugah, a golem newly-made by other golems in the hope he would be a king and leader for them, to fabricate poisoned candles and have them delivered to the palace. But the golems used an oven rather than a proper kiln to bake Meshugah, which leaves him literally "half-baked". He goes mad, its mind overloaded with all the wishes and propositions of the golem community, and starts killing people. (The name Meshugah comes from the adjective meaning "crazy", in Hebrew.)
At this point the City Watch steps in trying to solve the murders and Lord Vetinari's poisoning. With the assistance of their new forensics dwarf Cheery Littlebottom, Commander Vimes and Captain Carrot unravel the mystery. Carrot and Dorfl, one of the golems, fight and defeat the golem king at the candlestick factory. Afterwards, Vimes confronts the city's chief herald, a vampire, who instigated the whole affair. Dorfl arrests him despite tenuous evidence and Vimes burns down all the heralds' records of the nobility as a sort of punishment.
In the end, Vetinari has recovered completely, Dorfl is sworn in as a watchman, Vimes gets a pay raise, and the watch house gets a new dart board (as per usual).
|Bulgarian||Глинени крака||Feet Of Clay|
|Czech||Nohy z jílu||Feet of Clay|
|Dutch||Lemen voeten||Feet of Loam|
|Estonian||Savijalad||Feet of Clay|
|Finnish||Savijaloilla||On Feet of Clay|
|French||Pieds d'argile||Feet of Clay|
|German||Hohle Köpfe||Hollow Heads|
|Italian||Piedi d'Argilla||Feet of Clay|
|Polish||Na glinianych nogach||On the Clay Feet|
|Russian||Ноги из глины||Feet of Clay|
|Serbian||Glinene noge||Feet of Clay|
|Spanish||Pies de barro||Feet of Clay|
|Swedish||På lerfötter||On Clay Feet|