Etymology
Advertisement
mousetrap (n.)

"trap for catching mice," mid-15c., from mouse (n.) + trap (n.). Figurative use from 1570s. The thing is older than the word. Old English had musfealle ("mouse-fall," because the trap falls on the mouse); Middle English had mouscacche ("mouse-catch," late 14c.).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
firetrap (n.)

also fire-trap, "place at great risk of destruction by fire and with insufficient means of escape," 1882, from fire (n.) + trap (n.).

Related entries & more 
penniless (adj.)

"destitute, poverty-stricken," early 14c., penyles, from penny + -less.

Related entries & more 
beggary (n.)

late 14c., "practice of begging, mendicancy; poverty," from beggar (n.) + -y (2).

Related entries & more 
claptrap (n.)

1730, "a trick to 'catch' applause," a stage term; from clap (v.) + trap (n.). Extended sense of "cheap, showy language" is from 1819; hence "nonsense, rubbish."

A CLAP Trap, a name given to the rant and rhimes that dramatick poets, to please the actors, let them go off with; as much as to say, a trap to catch a clap by way of applause from the spectators at a play. [Bailey, "Dictionarium Britannicum," London, 1730]
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
beggar (v.)

"reduce to poverty," mid-15c., from beggar (n.). From c. 1600 as "exceed the means of," hence "to outdo." Related: Beggared; beggaring.

Related entries & more 
shoeless (adj.)

"destitute of shoes," whether from poverty or custom, 1620s, from shoe (n.) + -less. Related: Shoelessly; shoelessness.

Related entries & more 
poorness (n.)

c. 1300, pouernesse, "poverty, hardship, need; state, condition, or quality of being poor," from poor (adj.) + -ness.

Related entries & more 
trapper (n.)

"one who traps animals" (for fur, etc.), 1768, agent noun from trap (v.).

Related entries & more 
contraption (n.)

a slighting word for "a device, a contrivance," 1825, western England dialect, origin obscure, perhaps from con(trive) + trap, or deception.

Related entries & more 

Page 2