Origin of English word KIDNAP

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English Word


Edenic Word


Hebrew Word







[GN(V) → K+DNP]


This is one of those many given etymologies than seems suspiciously contrived.  Taking human hostages is not usually about children. Yet, Webster’s feels that “kid” means children.  Even worse, they claim that “nap” is a “variant of nab, to snatch.” Later, with all their meanings for NAB, there is no such variant as “nap.”  In other words, this is a common phenomenon of using a foreign word, and spelling it with native components (even if they make no sense).  The English did this to French, and the Americans to  Native American, and perhaps some vaguely “recalled” Edenic  was treated the same way.

A better etymon for KIDNAP is GaNaBH.  It is usually translated as “steal” (see KNAVE), but Genesis 40:15 makes it clear that it also means kidnapping.  In the Ten Commandments (actually Statements), the prohibition is about that stealing which is on a par with murder and adultery --  kidnapping.  After  the ten categories, the Law presents more and lesser  cases of stealing.


In cognate or ancestral languages, nothing has been found so far to justify the bizarre  English “napping” or nabbing of children to mean hostage taking.  Most likely “kidnap” is an Anglicizlation of a ancient term (GaNaBH).  Similarly, English speakers took the American Indian food tafulla  and called it TomFuller. The D and the P of “kidnap” make no sense, but their rendition of GaNaBH sounds more Anglo-Saxon and less foreign.

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