(The root is a variation of the root *kap- which was about "containing". The idea of "head" is based on the notion of a "bowl". Notable English members of this branch are "head, "chef", "cape" and the Latin branch around "capi-")
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Word Family

Root: *kaput-

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:

  • head
  • 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”)
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