Origin of lap

3
before 1000; Middle English lappen, unexplained variant of lapen, Old English lapian; cognate with Middle Low German lapen, Old High German laffan; akin to Latin lambere, Greek láptein to lick, lap
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for lap up

lap up

verb (tr, adverb)

to eat or drink
to relish or delight inhe laps up old horror films
to believe or accept eagerly and uncriticallyhe laps up tall stories

lap

1

noun

one circuit of a racecourse or track
a stage or part of a journey, race, etc
  1. an overlapping part or projection
  2. the extent of overlap
the length of material needed to go around an object
a rotating disc coated with fine abrasive for polishing gemstones
any device for holding a fine abrasive to polish materials
metallurgy a defect in rolled metals caused by the folding of a fin onto the surface
a sheet or band of fibres, such as cotton, prepared for further processing

verb laps, lapping or lapped

(tr) to wrap or fold (around or over)he lapped a bandage around his wrist
(tr) to enclose or envelop inhe lapped his wrist in a bandage
to place or lie partly or completely over or project beyond
(tr; usually passive) to envelop or surround with comfort, love, etclapped in luxury
(intr) to be folded
(tr) to overtake (an opponent) in a race so as to be one or more circuits ahead
(tr) to polish or cut (a workpiece, gemstone, etc) with a fine abrasive, esp to hone (mating metal parts) against each other with an abrasive
to form (fibres) into a sheet or band
Derived Formslapper, noun

Word Origin for lap

C13 (in the sense: to wrap): probably from lap 1

lap

2

verb laps, lapping or lapped

(of small waves) to wash against (a shore, boat, etc), usually with light splashing sounds
(often foll by up) (esp of animals) to scoop (a liquid) into the mouth with the tongue

noun

the act or sound of lapping
a thin food for dogs or other animals
See also lap up
Derived Formslapper, noun

Word Origin for lap

Old English lapian; related to Old High German laffan, Latin lambere, Greek laptein

lap

3

noun

the area formed by the upper surface of the thighs of a seated person
Also called: lapful the amount held in one's lap
a protected place or environmentin the lap of luxury
any of various hollow or depressed areas, such as a hollow in the land
the part of one's clothing that covers the lap
drop in someone's lap give someone the responsibility of
in the lap of the gods beyond human control and power

Word Origin for lap

Old English læppa flap; see lobe, lappet, lop ²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for lap up

lap

n.

Old English læppa (plural læppan) "skirt or flap of a garment," from Proto-Germanic *lapp- (cf. Old Frisian lappa, Old Saxon lappo, Middle Dutch lappe, Dutch lap, Old High German lappa, German Lappen "rag, shred," Old Norse leppr "patch, rag"), from PIE root *leb- "be loose, hang down."

Sense of "lower part of a shirt" led to that of "upper legs of seated person" (c.1300). Used figuratively ("bosom, breast") from late 14c.; e.g. lap of luxury, first recorded 1802. From 15c.-In 17c. the word (often in plural) was a euphemism for "female pudendum," but this is not the source of lap dance, which is first recorded 1993.

To lap dance, you undress, sit your client down, order him to stay still and fully clothed, then hover over him, making a motion that you have perfected by watching Mister Softee ice cream dispensers. [Anthony Lane, review of "Showgirls," "New Yorker," Oct. 16, 1995]

That this is pleasure and not torment for the client is something survivors of the late 20c. will have to explain to their youngers.

lap

v.1

"take up liquid with the tongue," from Old English lapian "to lap up, drink," from Proto-Germanic *lapajanan (cf. Old High German laffen "to lick," Old Saxon lepil, Dutch lepel, German Löffel "spoon"), from PIE imitative base *lab- (cf. Greek laptein "to sip, lick," Latin lambere "to lick"), indicative of licking, lapping, smacking lips. Meaning "splash gently" first recorded 1823, based on similarity of sound. Related: Lapped; lapping.

lap

v.2

"to lay one part over another," early 14c., "to surround (something with something else)," from lap (n.). Figurative use, "to envelop (in love, sin, desire, etc.)" is from mid-14c. The sense of "to get a lap ahead (of someone) on a track" is from 1847, on notion of "overlapping." The noun in this sense is 1670s, originally "something coiled or wrapped up;" meaning "a turn around a track" (1861) also is from this sense. Related: Lapped; lapping; laps.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with lap up

lap up

Take in or receive very eagerly, as in She loves to travel—she just laps it up, or The agency is lapping up whatever information their spies send in. This expression alludes to an animal drinking greedily. [Late 1800s]

lap

In addition to the idioms beginning with lap

  • lap of luxury, in the
  • lap of the gods, in the
  • lap up

also see:

  • drop in someone's lap
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.