malleable metallic element, Old English coper, from West Germanic *kupar (cf. Middle Dutch koper, Old Norse koparr, Old High German kupfar), from Late Latin cuprum, contraction of Latin Cyprium (aes) "Cyprian (metal)," after Greek Kyprios "Cyprus" (see Cyprus).
Latin aes originally was "copper," but this was extended to its alloy with tin, bronze, and as this was far more extensively used than pure copper, the word's primary sense shifted to the alloy and a new word evolved for "copper," from the Latin form of the name of the island of Cyprus, where copper was mined. Aes passed into Germanic (which originally did not distinguish copper from its alloys) and became English ore. In Latin, aes was the common word for "cash, coin, debt, wages" in many figurative expressions. Chemical symbol Cu is from cuprum.
"policeman," 1846; agent noun from cop (v.).
copper cop·per (kŏp'ər)
A ductile malleable metallic element that is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and is used for electrical wiring, water piping, and corrosion-resistant parts, either pure or in alloys such as brass and bronze. Atomic number 29; atomic weight 63.546; melting point 1,085°C; boiling point 2,562°C; specific gravity 8.96; valence 1, 2.
A reddish-brown, ductile, malleable metallic element that is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. It is widely used for electrical wires, water pipes, and rust-resistant parts, either in its pure form or in alloys such as brass and bronze. Atomic number 29; atomic weight 63.546; melting point 1,083°C; boiling point 2,595°C; specific gravity 8.96; valence 1, 2. See Periodic Table. See Note at element.
|Copper and Stone Age |
To bet against a card, roll of the dice, person, etc
[1864+ Gambling; fr the use of a special metal chip, often a copper cent, by a gambler to indicate a bet with the bank in faro]