Nap - Encyclopedia




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NAP, the pile on cloth, the surface of short fibres raised by special processes, differing with the various fabrics, and then smoothed and cut. Formerly the word was applied to the roughness on textiles before shearing. "Nap" in this sense appears in many Teutonic languages, cf. Ger. Noppe, Dutch nop, Nor. napp; the verbal form is noppen or nappen, to trim, cut short. The word nap also means a short sleep or doze (0. Eng. hnappian). In "napkin," a square of damask or other linen, used for wiping the hands and lips or for protecting the clothes at meals, the second part is a common English suffix, sometimes of diminutive force, and the first is from "nape," 1 Low Lat. p apa or nappa, a corrupt form of mappa, table-cloth. Nape still survives in "napery," a name for household linen in general.

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