[Ads-l] kapo

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 10 10:28:45 EST 2019


Wiktionary says that it’s derived from German Kapo from Italian capo. 

That said, the c- spelling also has currency in English:

http://voices.iit.edu/glossary <http://voices.iit.edu/glossary>
http://degob.org/index.php?showarticle=2017 <http://degob.org/index.php?showarticle=2017> 
http://dailybruin.com/2003/10/27/ucla-hillel-rabbi-could-face-c/ <http://dailybruin.com/2003/10/27/ucla-hillel-rabbi-could-face-c/> (labelled as derogatory) 
and perhaps https://www.quia.com/jg/109575list.html <https://www.quia.com/jg/109575list.html>

The OED, Merriam-Webster and Wiktionary do not have this meaning for the spelling “capo,” either. 

BB

> On 9 Dec 2019, at 09:06, Margaret Winters <mewinters at WAYNE.EDU> wrote:
> 
> It's the word for 'head' in Italian first (Latin caput), then metaphorically 'boss' etc.  By most evidence, Latin letter c was pronounced [k].  The German is Kopf; cognate or, less plausibly, borrowing.
> 
> ----------------------------
> MARGARET E WINTERS
> Former Provost
> Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
> Wayne State University
> Detroit, MI  48202
> 
> mewinters at wayne.edu
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Andy Bach <afbach at GMAIL.COM>
> Sent: Monday, December 9, 2019 11:03 AM
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Subject: Re: kapo
> 
> As it appears the 'k for c' swap is fairly common [1], isn't "capo" Italian
> for boss/head Mafioso?
> 
> a
> 
> [1]
> https://www.jewishgen.org/ForgottenCamps/General/LanguageEng.html
> *Kapo* - A inmate in charge of a work team. Most of the time, they were
> real criminals. They were sadistics and pervert and ready to do anything in
> order to keep their position in the hierarchy of the camp.
> *Kartoffeln* - Potato
> *Kasztan* - German - used by Russian and Polish inmates.
> *Kautabak* - Chewing tobacco
> *Kesselkolonne* - Inmates in charge of bringing the food.
> *Klauen* - To steal food from an other inmate.This was the worst thing you
> could do in a camp and it was never forgiven.
> *Kommando* - Work team
> *Kommandofürher* - SS in charge of a work team.
> *Kommando X* - In Dachau, the inmates working in the crematories.
> *Kommunist* - Communist (SS insult).
> *Kost* - Food
> *Kostträgger* - Inmates in charge of bringing the food.
> *Krematorium* - Crematory.
> *Krematoriumhund* - "Crematory Dog" (SS insult)
> *Kretiner* - Idiot (SS insult)
> *Kretze* - Scabies, really common in the camps.
> *Kübel* - Chamber pot.
> *Kübelträger* - Inmate who had to change and to clean the chamber pots.
> *Küche* - kitchen
> *K.Z. *or* K.L.* - Abbreviation for "Konzentrationslager", concentration
> camp.
> 
> On Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 8:45 AM Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> 1. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/08/nyregion/auschwitz-love-story.html
>> <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/08/nyregion/auschwitz-love-story.html>Lovers
>> in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question.
>> By Keren Blankfeld
>> December 8, 2019
>> 
>> ####
>> Yet Ms. Spitzer was never a Nazi collaborator or a kapo, a Jew assigned to
>> oversee other prisoners.
>> ####
>> 
>> 2. Not in the OED or Merriam-Webster. Wiktionary (
>> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kapo <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kapo>)
>> has: "(historical) A prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp who was given
>> food and privileges in return for supervising other prisoners doing forced
>> labor.”
>> 
>> 3. Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapo_(concentration_camp) <
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapo_(concentration_camp)>
>> A kapo or prisoner functionary (German: Funktionshäftling, see §
>> Etymology) was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp who was assigned by
>> the SS guards to supervise forced labor or carry out administrative tasks.
>> 
>> 4. https://www.thoughtco.com/kapos-prisoner-supervisors-1779685 <
>> https://www.thoughtco.com/kapos-prisoner-supervisors-1779685>
>> Role of Kapos in Nazi Concentration Camps
>> by Jennifer L. Goss, Contributing Writer
>> Updated August 07, 2019
>> 
>> ####
>> Kapos, called Funktionshäftling by the SS, were prisoners who collaborated
>> with the Nazis to serve in leadership or administrative roles over others
>> interned in the same Nazi concentration camp.
>> ####
>> ####
>> 
> 
> Andy Bach,
> afbach at gmail.com
> 608 658-1890 cell
> 608 261-5738 wk


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