The core idea of this root was:
The root is a subbranch of the root *kap-, which was about grasping, containing. The idea of “head” comes from the “head” essentially being a bowl, a container for the brain.
The notion of head is still visible in most of the offspring in today’s English.
Here’s a little (incomplete) overview:
- Capo (Latin for “head”)
- captain (“head”)
- chef, chief, chieftain (“head”)
- capital (“head city”)
- cattle (“what you own, are the boss of”)
- capital (“what you own, what you’re the captain of”)
- decapitate (“remove head”)
- cabbage (looks like a head)
- chapter (originally “little headline, section”
- capitulate (originally “drawing up piece terms”, based on the idea of chapter)
- recapitulate (“go over the chapters”)
- biceps, triceps (“two-head, three-head”)