Etymology
Advertisement
slap (v.)
late 15c., "strike with the open hand," from slap (n.). As an adverb, 1670s, "suddenly;" 1829, "directly." Related: Slapped; slapping.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
clap (n.1)

"a sudden, sharp, loud noise," c. 1200, from clap (v.). Of thunder, late 14c. Meaning "sudden blow" is from c. 1400; meaning "noise made by slapping the palms of the hands together" is from 1590s.

Related entries & more 
swap (v.)
c. 1200, "to strike, strike the hands together," of uncertain origin, possibly imitative of the sound of hitting or slapping. The sense of "to exchange, barter, trade" is first recorded 1590s, possibly from the notion of slapping hands together as a sign of agreement in bargaining (as in strike a bargain). Related: Swapped; swapping. The noun in this sense is attested from 1620s; earlier "a striking, an act of striking" (mid-13c.). Swap-meet attested from 1968, American English.
Related entries & more 
flap (n.)
mid-14c., flappe "a blow, slap, buffet," probably imitative of the sound of striking. Sense of "device for slapping or striking" is from early 15c. Meaning "something that hangs down" is first recorded 1520s, probably from flap (v.). Sense of "motion or noise like a bird's wing" is 1774; meaning "disturbance, noisy tumult" is 1916, British slang.
Related entries & more 
smite (v.)
"to hit, strike, beat," mid-12c., from Old English smitan, which however is attested only as "to daub, smear on; soil, pollute, blemish, defile" (strong verb, past tense smat, past participle smiten), from Proto-Germanic *smitan (source also of Swedish smita, Danish smide "to smear, fling," Old Frisian smita, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch smiten "to cast, fling," Dutch smijten "to throw," Old High German smizan "to rub, strike," German schmeißen "to cast, fling," Gothic bismeitan "to spread, smear"). "The development of the various senses is not quite clear, but that of throwing is perh. the original one" [OED]. Watkins suggests "the semantic channel may have been slapping mud on walls in wattle and daub construction" and connects it with PIE *sme- "to smear;" Klein's sources also say this.

Sense of "slay in combat" (c. 1300) is from Biblical expression smite to death, first attested c. 1200. Meaning "visit disastrously" is mid-12c., also Biblical. Meaning "strike with passion or emotion" is from c. 1300.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement