Lap has many meanings in English. It can be utilized as many parts of speech as well, including a verb, adjective and noun. A lap is referred to a lap around a track, a lap that is part of one’s body or a dog who laps up water from its bowl. For the purpose of this article, the focus will be on the lap that is part of one’s body.
A lap is commonly known as the upper portion of someone’s legs when he or she is sitting down. Many individuals may consider that their children will sit on their laps or that a dog is a lap dog if it likes to cuddle on your lap. This word has a Germanic origin.
The word lap originally comes from the Proto-Germanic background. This language contained a word that was lapp which was the skirt of a garment. The skirt was the part that hanged over the upper portion of the legs. The word was continually expanded from the Proto-Indo-European language roots which brought about the word leb meaning something that hanged down.
Languages continued adapting these words to fit into their own languages. The Saxon and High German languages developed the word lappa. The Dutch developed the words lappe and lap. The Old English language developed the word laeppa.
Layamon, the Brut was the first to utilize the term lap to specifically mean the upper legs when seated. This occurred in 1275. Later, Chaucer utilized this meaning in the Canterbury Tales which were written in the fourteenth century.
The word continued to develop into more meanings as aforementioned. The meaning of a dog lapping of water developed out of the Old English word lapian. This word was even older as being around since 1000.
The word lap when meaning a lap around a track is relatively newer. This developed in the 1600s. In the 1800s, it continued to develop to make more sense as to describe multiple laps around a track.
There were many ways and continue to be many ways that the word lap when referring to the upper portion of one’s legs is utilized. One such metaphor is the lap of luxury in which someone lives in immaculate wealth. This development came about by D.W. Belisle meaning there was little needed there to support the rest of the body. The lap of the gods meant that something belonged to their control and dates back to the times of the Illiad or Odyssey.
Laptop is a variation of the word lap as well. This word was obviously not created until the modern age. This meant that it was a computer that sat upon one’s lap. Lap dance is also a relatively new term in that these dances were performed by sitting on customers.
There are many ways in which the word lap has been utilized. This word has encountered centuries of development in order to create the many uses that exist today. Languages continue to develop, however, with more uses coming in the future.