canoodle (v.)
"to indulge in caresses and fondling endearments" [OED], by 1850s, said to be U.S. slang, of uncertain origin. The earliest known sources are British, but they tend to identify the word as American. In the 1830s it seems to have been in use in Britain in a sense of "cheat" or "overpower." Related: Canoodled; canoodling.
Canopus (n.)
bright southern star, 1550s, ultimately from Greek Kanopos, Kanobos perhaps from Egyptian Kahi Nub "golden earth." The association with "weight" found in the name of the star in some northern tongues may reflect the fact that it never rises far above the horizon in those latitudes. Also the name of a town in ancient lower Egypt (famous for its temple of Serapis), hence canopic jar, canopic vase, which often held the entrails of embalmed bodies (1878).
canopy (n.)
late 14c., from Old French conope "bed-curtain" (Modern French canapé), from Medieval Latin canopeum, dissimilated from Latin conopeum, from Greek konopeion "Egyptian couch with mosquito curtains," from konops "mosquito, gnat," of unknown origin. The same word (canape) in French, Spanish, and Portuguese now means "sofa, couch." Italian canape is a French loan word.
canopy (v.)
c.1600, from canopy (n.). Related: Canopied; canopying.
cant (n.1)
"insincere talk," 1709, earlier it was slang for "whining of beggars" (1640s), from the verb in this sense (1560s), from Old North French canter (Old French chanter) "to sing, chant," from Latin cantare, frequentative of canere "to sing" (see chant (v.)). Sense in English developed after 1680 to mean the jargon of criminals and vagabonds, thence applied contemptuously by any sect or school to the phraseology of its rival.
... Slang is universal, whilst Cant is restricted in usage to certain classes of the community: thieves, vagrom men, and -- well, their associates. ... Slang boasts a quasi-respectability denied to Cant, though Cant is frequently more enduring, its use continuing without variation of meaning for many generations. [John S. Farmer, Forewords to "Musa Pedestris," 1896]
cant (n.2)
"slope, slant," late 14c., Scottish, "edge, brink," from Old North French cant "corner" (perhaps via Middle Low German kante or Middle Dutch kant), from Vulgar Latin *canthus, from Latin cantus "iron tire of a wheel," possibly from a Celtic word meaning "rim of wheel, edge" (compare Welsh cant "bordering of a circle, tire, edge," Breton cant "circle"), from PIE *kam-bo- "corner, bend," from root *kemb- "to bend, turn, change" (cognates: Greek kanthos "corner of the eye," Russian kutu "corner").
cantabile (adj.)
1724, from Italian, literally "singable, that can be sung," from cantare "to sing" (see chant (v.)).
Cantabrigian (adj.)
"pertaining to Cambridge," 1540s, from Medieval Latin Cantabrigia (see Cambridge) + -an.
cantaloupe (n.)
also cantaloup, 1739, from French, from Italian, from Cantalupo, name of a former Papal summer estate near Rome, where the melons first were grown in Europe after their introduction (supposedly from Armenia). The place name seems to be "singing wolf" and might refer to a spot where wolves gathered, but this might be folk etymology.
cantankerous (adj.)
1772, said to be "a Wiltshire word," probably from an alteration (influenced by raucous) of Middle English contakour "troublemaker" (c.1300), from Anglo-French contec "discord, strife," from Old French contechier (Old North French contekier), from con- "with" + teche, related to atachier "hold fast" (see attach). With -ous. Related: Cantankerously; cantankerousness.
cantata (n.)
1724, from Italian cantata, literally "that which is sung," past participle of cantare "to sing" (see chant (v.)).
canteen (n.)
c.1710, "store in a military camp," from French cantine "sutler's shop" (17c.), from Italian cantina "wine cellar, vault," which is perhaps another of the many meanings that were attached to Latin canto "corner;" in this case, perhaps "corner for storage." A Gaulish origin also has been proposed. Extended to "refreshment room at a military base, school, etc." from 1870. Meaning "small tin for water or liquor, carried by soldiers on the march, campers, etc." is from 1744, from a sense in French.
canter (v.)
1706, from a contraction of Canterbury gallop (1630s), "easy pace at which pilgrims ride to Canterbury" (q.v.). Related: Cantered; cantering.
canter (n.)
1755, from canter (v.).
Canterbury
Old English Cantware-buruh "fortified town of the Kentish people," from Cant-ware "the people of Kent" (see Kent). The Roman name was Duroverno, from Romano-British *duro- "walled town."

Pope Gregory the Great intended to make London, as the largest southern Anglo-Saxon city, the metropolitan see of southern England, but Christianity got a foothold first in the minor kingdom of Kent, whose heathen ruler Ethelbert had married a Frankish Christian princess. London was in the Kingdom of Essex and out of reach of the missionaries at first. Therefore, in part perhaps to flatter Ethelbert, his capital was made the cathedral city. Related: Canterburian.
canticle (n.)
"short hymn," early 13c., from Latin canticulum "a little song," diminutive of canticum "song" (also a scene in Roman comedy enacted by one person and accompanied by music and dancing), from cantus (see chant (v.)).
cantilever (n.)
1660s, probably from cant (n.2) + lever, but earliest form (c.1610) was cantlapper. First element also might be Spanish can "dog," architect's term for an end of timber jutting out of a wall, on which beams rested. Related: Cantilevered.
cantina (n.)
"bar room, saloon," 1892, Texas and U.S. southwest dialect, from Spanish and Italian form of canteen.
cantle (n.)
early 14c., "a part, a portion," also "a section cut out of anything" (mid-15c.), from Old North French cantel "corner, piece" (Old French chantel, Modern French chanteau), from Medieval Latin cantellus, diminutive of cantus "corner" (see cant (n.2)).
canto (n.)
1580s, from Italian canto "song," from Latin cantus "song" (see chant (v.)). As "a section of a long poem," used in Italian by Dante, in English first by Spenser.
canton (n.)
1530s, "corner, angle," from Middle French canton "piece, portion of a country" (13c.), from Italian (Lombard dialect) cantone "region," especially in the mountains, augmentative of Latin canto "section of a country," literally "corner" (see cant (n.2)). Originally in English a term in heraldry and flag descriptions; applied to the sovereign states of the Swiss republic from 1610s. Related: Cantoned.
Cantonese (n.)
1816, from Canton, former transliteration of the name of the Chinese region now known in English as Guangzhou. The older form of the name is from the old British-run, Hong Kong-based Chinese postal system. As an adjective from 1840.
cantonment (n.)
1756, "military quarters," from French cantonnement, from cantonner "to divide into cantons" (14c.), from canton (see canton). Meaning "action of quartering troops" is from 1757.
cantor (n.)
1530s, "church song-leader," from Latin cantor "singer, poet, actor," agent noun from past participle stem of canere "to sing" (see chant (v.)). Applied in English to the Hebrew chazan from 1893.
Canuck (n.)
1835, perhaps a cross between Canada and Chinook, the native people in the Columbia River region. In U.S., often but not always derogatory. As an adjective from 1853.
canula
variant of cannula.
canvas (n.)
"sturdy cloth made from hemp or flax," mid-14c., from Anglo-French canevaz, Old North French canevach, Old French chanevaz, literally "made of hemp, hempen," noun use of Vulgar Latin adjective *cannapaceus "made of hemp," from Latin cannabis, from Greek kannabis "hemp," a Scythian or Thracian word (see cannabis).

Latin adjectives in -aceus sometimes were made in Romanic languages into nouns of augmentative or pejorative force. Especially as a surface for oil paintings from c.1700; hence "an oil painting" (1764).
canvas-back (n.)
also canvasback, 1785 as a type of North American duck. Earlier as an adjective for a type of garment made of expensive stuff in front and cheap canvas in the back (c.1600); from canvas (n.) + back (n.).
canvass (v.)
c.1500, from alternative spelling of canvas (n.) and probably meaning, originally, "to toss or sift in a canvas sheet," hence "to shake out, examine carefully" (1520s); "to solicit votes" (1550s). The spelling with a double -s- dates from 16c. Compare Old French canabasser "to examine carefully," literally "to sift through canvas." Related: Canvassed; canvassing. As a noun related to this, attested from c.1600.
canyon (n.)
"narrow valley between cliffs," 1834, from Mexican Spanish cañon, extended sense of Spanish cañon "a pipe, tube; deep hollow, gorge," augmentative of cano "a tube," from Latin canna "reed" (see cane (n.)). But earlier spelling callon (1560s) might suggest a source in calle "street."
canzone (n.)
1580s, from Italian canzone, from Latin cantionem (nominative cantio) "singing, song" (also source of Spanish cancion, French chanson), noun of action from past participle stem of canere "to sing" (see chant (v.)). In Italian or Provençal, a song resembling the madrigal but less strict in style.
cap (n.)
late Old English cæppe "hood, head-covering, cape," from Late Latin cappa "a cape, hooded cloak" (source of Spanish capa, Old North French cape, French chape), possibly a shortened from capitulare "headdress," from Latin caput "head" (see head (n.)).

Meaning "women's head covering" is early 13c. in English; extended to men late 14c. Figurative thinking cap is from 1839 (considering cap is 1650s). Of cap-like coverings on the ends of anything (such as hub-cap) from mid-15c. Meaning "contraceptive device" is first recorded 1916. That of "cap-shaped piece of copper lined with gunpowder and used to ignite a firearm" is c.1826; extended to paper version used in toy pistols, 1872 (cap-pistol is from 1879).

The Late Latin word apparently originally meant "a woman's head-covering," but the sense was transferred to "hood of a cloak," then to "cloak" itself, though the various senses co-existed. Old English took in two forms of the Late Latin word, one meaning "head-covering," the other "ecclesiastical dress" (see cape (n.1)). In most Romance languages, a diminutive of Late Latin cappa has become the usual word for "head-covering" (such as French chapeau).
cap (v.)
c.1400, "to put a cap on," from cap (n.). Meaning "cover as with s cap" is from c.1600. Figurative sense of "go one better" is from 1580s. Related: Capped; capping.
cap-a-pie (adj.)
1520s, from Middle French cap-à-pie, literally "head to foot." The more usual French form is de pied en cap. The French words are from Latin caput "head" (see head (n.)) + pedem "foot" (see foot (n.)).
capability (n.)
1580s, from capable + -ity. Capabilities "undeveloped faculty or property" is attested from 1778.
capable (adj.)
1560s, from Middle French capable or directly from Late Latin capabilis "receptive; able to grasp or hold," used by theologians, from Latin capax "able to hold much, broad, wide, roomy;" also "receptive, fit for;" adjectival form of capere "to grasp, lay hold, take, catch; undertake; take in, hold; be large enough for; comprehend," from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (cognates: Sanskrit kapati "two handfuls;" Greek kaptein "to swallow, gulp down;" Lettish kampiu "seize;" Old Irish cacht "servant-girl," literally "captive;" Welsh caeth "captive, slave;" Gothic haban "have, hold;" Old English hæft "handle," habban "to have, hold," Modern English have). Related: Capably.
capacious (adj.)
1610s, "able to contain," from Latin capax (genitive capacis) "able to take in," from capere "to take" (see capable) + -ous. Meaning "able to hold much" is from 1630s. Related: Capaciously; capaciousness.
capacitance (n.)
1893, from capacity + -ance.
capacitate (v.)
1650s, from Latin capacitas (see capacity) + -ate (2). Related: Capacitation.
capacitor (n.)
"device which stores electricity," 1926, from capacity with Latinate agent-noun ending.
capacity (n.)
early 15c., from Middle French capacité "ability to hold" (15c.), from Latin capacitatem (nominative capacitas) "breadth, capacity, capability of holding much," noun of state from capax (genitive capacis) "able to hold much," from capere "to take" (see capable). Meaning "largest audience a place can hold" is 1908.
caparison (n.)
1570s, "cloth spread over a saddle," also "personal dress and ornaments," from Middle French caparasson (15c., Modern French caparaçon), from Spanish caparazón, perhaps from augmentative of Old Provençal caparasso "a mantle with a hood," or Medieval Latin caparo, the name of a type of cape worn by women, literally "chaperon" (see chaperon). Past participle adjective caparisoned is attested from c.1600, from a verb caparison (1590s), from French caparaçonner, from caparaçon.
cape (n.1)
garment, late Old English capa, cæppe, from Late Latin cappa "hooded cloak" (see cap (n.)). The modern word and meaning ("sleeveless cloak") are a mid-16c. reborrowing from French cape, from Spanish, in reference to a Spanish style.
cape (n.2)
"promontory," late 14c., from Middle French cap "cape; head," from Latin caput "headland, head" (see capitulum). The Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa has been the Cape since 1660s. Sailors called low cloud banks that could be mistaken for landforms on the horizon Cape fly-away (1769).
Cape Cod
named 1602 by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold for the abundance of fish his men caught there. Cape Cod, in reference to houses reminiscent of New England architecture, is attested from 1916.
capeesh
variant spelling of capiche (q.v.).
Capella
bright northern star, the alpha of the constellation Auriga, by 17c., from Latin capella, literally "little she-goat" (Greek kinesai kheimonas), diminutive of capra "she-goat," fem. of caper "goat."
caper (v.)
1580s, apparently short for obsolete capriole "to leap, skip," probably from Italian capriolare "jump in the air" (see cab). Related: Capered; capering.
caper (n.1)
type of prickly Mediterranean bush, also in reference to the plant's edible buds, late 14c., from Latin capparis (source of Italian cappero, French câpre, German Kaper), from Greek kapparis "the caper plant or its fruit," of uncertain origin. Arabic kabbar, Persian kabar are from Greek. Perhaps reborrowed into English 16c. The final -s was mistaken for a plural inflection in English and dropped.
caper (n.2)
by 1590s, "playful leap or jump," from caper (v.); meaning "prank" is from 1840; that of "crime" is from 1926. To cut capers "dance in a frolicsome way" is from c.1600.