kid·nap (kĭd’năp′)
tr.v. kid·napped, kid·nap·ping, kid·naps or kid·naped or kid·nap·ing To abduct or confine (a person) forcibly, by threat of force, or by deceit, without the authority of law.
[ KID(Cf. ↑kid), child + nap, to snatch (perhaps variant of NAB(Cf. ↑nab) or of Scandinavian origin ).]
kid′nap·pee’, kid′nap·ee’ (kĭd′nă-pē’) n. kid’nap′ n. kid’nap′per, kid’nap′er n.
Word History: Kidnapper seems to have originated among those who perpetrate this crime. We know this because kid and napper, the two parts of the compound, were slang of the sort that criminals used. Kid, which still has an informal air, was considered low slang when kidnapper was formed, and napper is obsolete slang for a thief, coming from the verb nap, "to steal." Nap is possibly a variant of nab, which also still has a slangy ring. In the second half of the 1600s, when the word kidnapper begins to appear in English, kidnappers plied their trade to secure laborers for plantations in colonies such as the ones in North America. The term later took on the broader sense that it has today. The verb kidnap begins to be attested a bit later than kidnapper and is possibly a back-formation from kidnapper—that is, the suffix -er was removed from kidnapper to create a new verb kidnap.

Word Histories. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • kidnapper — [ kidnape ] v. tr. <conjug. : 1> • 1931; h. 1861; angl. amér. to kidnap, de kid « enfant » et to nap « saisir » ♦ Enlever (une personne), en général pour en tirer une rançon. Kidnapper la fille d un milliardaire. Elle s est fait kidnapper… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • kidnapper — KIDNÁPPER, kidnápperi, s.m. Autor al unui kidnapping. (din amer. kidnapper) Trimis de tavi, 13.09.2007. Sursa: MDN  KIDNÁPPER s.m. (Americanism) Răpitor, autor al unui kidnapping. [< americ. kidnapper]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.05.2005.… …   Dicționar Român

  • kidnapper — index criminal Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • kidnapper — 1670s; see KIDNAP (Cf. kidnap) (though this word is attested a few years earlier) …   Etymology dictionary

  • kidnapper — /kidˈnapper, ingl. ˈkɪdˌnæpə(r)/ [vc. ingl., V. kidnapping] s. m. e f. inv. rapitore, sequestratore di bambino …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Kidnapper — Kidnaper Kid nap er (k[i^]d n[a^]p [ e]r), or Kidnapper Kid nap per, n. One who steals or forcibly carries away a human being; a manstealer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Kidnapper — Kid|nap|per der; s, <aus gleichbed. engl. kidnapper> jmd., der kidnappt …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • kidnapper — kidnap ► VERB (kidnapped, kidnapping; US also kidnaped, kidnaping) ▪ abduct and hold (someone) captive, typically to obtain a ransom. ► NOUN ▪ an instance of kidnapping. DERIVATIVES kidnapper noun …   English terms dictionary

  • kidnapper — noun see kidnap …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Kidnapper — Unter einer Entführung versteht man einen kriminellen Akt, bei dem eine Person oder Personengruppe, häufig auch ein Kind (daher engl. auch kidnapping), teilweise auch eine Sache (Flugzeugentführung) mit Gewalt oder heimlich an einen anderen Ort… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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