\ \ [15] Modern English dapper connotes neatness, alertness, and liveliness, but its etymological significance as revealed by distant relatives such as Old High German tapfarheavy’, Old Prussian debīkanlarge’, and Old Slavic debeluthick’, is ‘heavy’. The notion of ‘weightiness’ spread to ‘firmness, endurance in battle’, and hence ‘courage’ (German tapfer and Dutch dapper both mean ‘brave’). English acquired the word, with an apparently ironical change of meaning, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German dapperheavy, stout, bold’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Dapper — Dap per, a. [OE. daper; prob. fr. D. dapper brave, valiant; akin to G. tapfer brave, OHG. taphar heavy, weighty, OSlav. dobr[u^] good, Russ. dobrui. Cf. {Deft}.] Little and active; spruce; trim; smart; neat in dress or appearance; lively. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dapper — steht für: Carl von Dapper (1863–1937), ein deutscher Internist und Kurarzt Olfert Dapper (* ca. 1635–1637; † 1689), niederländischer Mediziner und Schriftsteller Ubuntu 6.06, eine Linux Distribution mit dem Codenamen Dapper Drake (Adretter… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • dapper — mid 15c., elegant, from M.Du. or M.L.G. dapper bold, strong, sturdy, later quick, nimble, from P.Gmc. *dapraz, perhaps with ironical shift of meaning (Cf. O.H.G. tapfar heavy, Ger. tapfer brave ), from PIE root *dheb dense, firm, compressed …   Etymology dictionary

  • dapper — [dap′ər] adj. [ME daper, agile, trim < MDu dapper, nimble, powerful, akin to Ger tapfer, brave, ON dapr, heavy < IE base * dheb , thick, solid, stocky: the sense development is from “heavy, powerful” to “nimble” to “trim, neat”] 1. small… …   English World dictionary

  • Dapper — Dapper, Olivier, Arzt in Amsterdam, fruchtbarer Schriftsteller auf dem Gebiet der Erdkunde, st. 1690. Außer einer historischen Beschreibung der Stadt Amsterdam, Amst. 1663, Fol., u. der holländ. Übersetzung Herodots, ebd. 1665, sind seine… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Dapper — Dapper, Olfert, Arzt und geograph. Schriftsteller, lebte meist in Amsterdam und starb 1690. Er lieferte (nach teilweise sehr selten gewordenen Quellen) Beschreibungen von Syrien und Palästina (Rotterd. 1667; deutsch, Amsterd. 1681), von Ägypten,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • dapper — [adj] well groomed, neat bandbox, brisk, chic, chichi, classy, clean, dainty, dashing, doggy*, dressed to kill*, dressed to nines*, jaunty, natty, nice, nifty, nimble, nobby, posh, prim, rakish, ritzy, sassy, sharp, showy, smart, snazzy*, snug,… …   New thesaurus

  • dapper — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of a man) neat in dress and appearance. ORIGIN probably from a Low German or Dutch word meaning strong, stout …   English terms dictionary

  • Dapper — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Dapper peut désigner : Olfert Dapper, un humaniste hollandais du XVIIe siècle le Musée Dapper, un musée parisien consacré aux arts africains… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • dapper — dapperly, adv. dapperness, n. /dap euhr/, adj. 1. neat; trim; smart: He looked very dapper in his new suit. 2. lively and brisk: to walk with a dapper step. 3. small and active. [1400 50; late ME daper < MD dapper nimble, stalwart; c. G tapfer… …   Universalium

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