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Ce­po and Chip

The Span­ish ce­po (for “clamp”; both lit­er­al and metaphor­i­cal, as in, “to clamp down”) comes from the Latin cip­pus. Cip­pus it­self comes from the an­cient Pro­to-In­do-Eu­ro­pean root keipo for a “sharp piece of wood.” From that same PIE root, we get (via Ger­man) the Eng­lish… chip. The c‑p to ch‑p map­ping is clear; and next time you have a chip on your shoul­der, re­mem­ber that this is bet­ter than hav­ing a clamp on your shoul­der!


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