\ \ Caperjump about’ [16] and the edible caper [15] are two different words. The former is a shortening of caprioleleap’, now obsolete except as a technical term in horsemanship, which comes via early French capriole from Italian capriola, a derivative of the verb capriolareleap’, which in turn was formed from caprioloroebuck’; its ultimate source was Latin capreolus, a diminutive form of capergoat’ (whence the English astrological term Capricorn, literally ‘goat’s horn’). (The French by-form cabrioler was the source of English cab.) Caperedible bud’ came via French câpres and Latin capparis from Greek kápparis; the earliest English form was capres, but this came to be misinterpreted as a plural, and the -s was dropped from the singular in the 16th century.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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