RCC Honors History Project

The origin of the word “kidnap” by Hotforwords

Posted by jas1wills on October 9, 2009

This is a video about the origin of the word “kidnap” which originated in the 1600s after “stiff penalties were imposed on sea captains who grabbed young people in England and sold them in the colonies as indentured servants” (Woods 29). Because of the great fire in London, and the Great Plague in Europe, labor in England was in demand. These penalties caused one of the key factors that transformed the idea of slavery into racial slavery. This video brings a little humor to an otherwise dark and serious subject.

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2 Responses to “The origin of the word “kidnap” by Hotforwords”

  1. brttnyala said

    The origins of words is always interesting thanks for posting! I didnt realize that the word “kidnap” came from this time period of indentured servants. I believed before that the word was originally used for people who took children only for ransom.

    • sethrd23 said

      That’s interesting, I had the same impression. Except that the first time I heard the term it was from a second grade teacher who had her cat “kitnapped.” So naturally i thought it referred to stealing cats. That’s public schooling for you.

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