the iconic podcast
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
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