Used as a disparaging term for a person of Italian birth or ancestry.
[Neapolitan guappo, uappo, bully, thug, from earlier Spanish guapo, pimp, ruffian (later also “gallant, handsome”), from a French dialectal word meaning “soft, weak, worthless fellow,” compare Walloon wape, insipid, from Old French vape, enfeebled, weak, ultimately (perhaps with influence from Frankish *hwapjan, to spoil; akin to Middle High German verwepfen) from Latin vappa, flat wine, worthless fellow; see VAPOR.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.