Word Wednesday: Kaput

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The adjective kaput:
“ruined, done for, out of order”
is used only in [a] predicate position, not in [an] attributive position. [T]hat is, you can only say “My car is kaput” but, not “I’ve got a kaput car.”

Kaput comes from the German colloquial adjective kaputt:
“broken, done for, out of order, (of food) spoiled”
which was taken from the German idiom capot machen, a partial translation of the French idioms faire capot and être capot:
“to win (or lose) all the tricks (in the card game piquet).”

Faire capot literally means “to make a bonnet or hood” and its usage in Piquet may be from an image of throwing a hood over or hoodwinking one’s opponent. Unsurprisingly, kaput became widely used in English early in World War I.

I find the word’s description, above, apropos to today’s insanity. And, if you are so inclined, a video for five minutes of your time. ~Vic

20 thoughts on “Word Wednesday: Kaput

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    July 8, 2020 at 7:27 PM

    That’s one of my favourite words.

    Kenneth T. said:
    July 8, 2020 at 8:10 PM

    It’s sad that you used “car” in your defining example.
    My care happens to be on its last (uhh) legs… and by legs – I mean, last moments of life.
    Oh – what a horrible world. 🙁

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      July 8, 2020 at 11:20 PM

      Wasn’t me. The origin data comes directly from dictionary.com.

      Sorry you have a car (nearly) kaput. Can it be repaired?

        Kenneth T. said:
        July 8, 2020 at 11:26 PM

        I didn’t mean you as in “you” but you as in the article.

        As for the vehicle – it’s now in its 26th year since it was manufactured (10 of those years it was with me) – and sure, it can be fixed, but it may be time for something newer anyway.

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          July 9, 2020 at 12:03 AM

          Wow. A vehicle from, what, 1994, is still in service? Nice.

          IDK. Knowing what I know about “new” stuff, I’d rather have the old stuff. Too much crap…

          Tell me you aren’t looking at a self-driving Tesla. That is a quick way to become a statistic.

    Stine Writing said:
    July 8, 2020 at 8:36 PM

    What do we believe? It is so scary to think about what is true.

    badfinger20 (Max) said:
    July 10, 2020 at 12:29 AM

    I wanted to be a band as big as the Beatles and / or the 3rd baseman for the Dodgers…I’m not selfish…either one would have worked…
    those dreams went kaput. A very loud KAPUT

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      July 10, 2020 at 12:41 AM

      Well, you are a musician. Did you play ball in HS/College?

        badfinger20 (Max) said:
        July 10, 2020 at 12:43 AM

        In HS I did…and yes I played in a local band…So I got minor realities. Well to be fair…I was 3rd basemen for the Dodgers…a softball team I played on in my 20s lol

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          July 10, 2020 at 12:51 AM

          SEE! Dream came true…alternate reality version.

          Besides, being in a big band like The Beatles would be problematic. Even they couldn’t hold it all together.

          Just out of curiosity, why 3rd base?

            badfinger20 (Max) said:
            July 10, 2020 at 12:57 AM

            My hero played 3rd base. Ron Cey…I grew up watching him. His nickname was the penguin…he is still alive and well…though not playing 3rd now lol

              The Hinoeuma responded:
              July 10, 2020 at 1:03 AM

              Gotcha. I thought maybe there was something strategic or exciting about that position.

                badfinger20 (Max) said:
                July 10, 2020 at 1:04 AM

                It is exciting. The balls are hit harder down to that base because of right handed hitters pulling the ball down the line.

                  The Hinoeuma responded:
                  July 10, 2020 at 1:10 AM

                  That makes sense. I guess switch hitters are more balanced and unpredictable.

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