capri-, capr-

(Latin: goat, resembling a goat)

cabriolet (s) (noun), cabriolets (pl)
1. A two-wheeled carriage: The cabriolet that Susan saw had only two seats, a folding top and was pulled by only one horse.
2. An automobile with a folding top: Tim wanted to save his money to buy a cabriolet with a convertible coupe!
3. Etymology: French from cabriole, "leap of a goat, caper"; from cabrioler, caprioler, "to leap like a goat, to caper"; from Italian capriolare, from Latin capreolus, diminutive formed from caper, "he goat", whence capra, "she-goat".
Capella (proper noun)
1. A double star in Auriga: Capella is the brightest star in the constellation, approximately 46 light-years from Earth.
2. Etymology: from Latin, diminutive of caper, "goat".
caper (verb), capers; capered; capering
To leap or to skip around in a sprightly manner; prance; to frisk; to gambol: Little Mary loved to caper around in the living room when her parents had invited guests over because then she certainly got a lot of attention!
capric, caprinic (adjective) (not comparable)
1. A reference to a goat: Lynn was shown some samples of rugs that were made of capric fibres or material.
2. Of or pertaining to a special acid or its derivatives: Capric acid comes from animal fats and oils which are used in the manufacture of perfumes and fruit flavors.

The capric acid also occurs in small quantities in butter, coconut oil, etc.; which is united with glycerin.

Capric acids are colorless oils or white crystalline solids of an unpleasant odor similar to goats or sweat.

caprice (s) (noun), caprices (pl)
A tendency to make quick, impulsive decisions or changes of the mind: A caprice is a sudden mental conclusion that is made apparently without adequate reasoning or consideration.
capricious (adjective), more capricious, most capricious
1. Relating to or indicative of a whim or irrational thinking; erratic: Shirley is such a capricious mother that her son doesn't know how she'll react when he tells her that he and his girlfriend are engaged.
2. Characterized by or subject to impulsive and unpredictable behavior: Although people may enjoy a little unpredictability in life now and then, the term capricious is not ordinarily used in a positive sense, for example a capricious wife can make a nervous wreck of her spouse.
caput, "head" + riccio, "curled" or "frizzled".

The root of capricious is the noun caprice, which means "a whim' or "sudden change of mind" and caprice ultimately came from the Italian word capriccio, which also has the meaning of whim and at this point hedgehogs enter into the research of the etymology.

Hedgehogs are known for their spiky, spiny coats and the Italian capriccio is a combination of capo, "head" and riccio, "hedgehog", and its original meaning was "hedgehog head", a description of someone so frightened or astonished that the hair on his or her head "stood on end".

The transformation of the meaning of capriccio from "fright" to "whim" or "sudden impulse" seems to have involved another group of animals; namely, goats.

While the Italian word capra, "goat", is not directly related to capriccio, the similarity of the words and the skittish, flighty behavior of goats apparently gradually pushed capriccio away from "fright" and towards "whim". By the time "caprice" entered English in 1667, it meant simply "whim, erratic", or "notion".

—Compiled from information located in
Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto; Arcade Publishing;
Little, Brown and Company; New York; 1990; page 96.
Webster's Word Histories; Merriam-Webster, Inc.;
Springfield, Massachusetts; 1989; page 86.
Tending to make changes in whims or without valid reasons.
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capriciously (adverb), more capriciously, most capriciously
Descriptive of how something pr someone changes often, erratically, and impulsively: The spring weather has been capriciously going from relatively bad winds and icy conditions to even more severe and destructive situations.

Constance capriciously purchased and exchanged five dresses in one week at the local department store.

capriciousness (s) (noun) (no pl)
A trait of behavior which shows whimsicalness or unsteadiness of opinion or purpose: Capriciousness describes a situation in which a person makes statements or decisions which are not fully analyzed or supported by reason.

Joan's capriciousness was revealed when she invested her entire savings in stocks that lost a significant amount in value, thus decreasing the amount of money that she had in her bank account.

Capricorn (proper noun)
1. In astrology, the tenth sign of the zodiac: Capricorn is represented by a goat with a fish's tail and out extends from December 22 to January 19.

Capricorn is classified as an earth sign, and its ruling planet is Saturn.

2. In astronomy, a faint zodiacal constellation in the equatorial region of the southern hemisphere: In school Christaine learned that Capricorn was situated between Aquarius and Sagittarius.
caprid (s) (noun), caprids (pl)
A goat: A caprid is a member of the subfamily Caprinae, and also described as being a hollowed-horned ruminant.
caprification (s) (noun), caprifications (pl)
The technique of making sure that pollination of certain edible figs takes place: Caprification is a process in which flowering branches of the wild fig caprifig are hung in orchards of cultivated fig trees to provide pollen for pollination and hence fruit development.

Caprification is the artificial transfer of pollen from the anther to the stigma of figs by means of the sting of insects, such as by chalcid wasps.
2. Etymology: from Latin caprificatio, "ripening of figs" (by the stinging of gall-insects); from caprificatus, past participle of caprificare, "to ripen figs", from caprificus, "wild fig"; literally, "goat fig", from caper, "goat" and ficus, "fig".

caprifoliaceous (adjective), more caprifoliaceous, most caprifoliaceous
1. Relating to, or belonging to the family Caprifoliaceae: Caprifoliaceous plants thrive in temperate and boreal regions and include shrubs or small trees like honeysuckle, elderberry, and the guelder rose.
2. Etymology: from New Latin caprifoliaceae, from caprifolium type genus, from Medieval Latin: "honeysuckle", from Latin caper, "goat" + folium, "leaf".
caprigenous (adjective) (not comparable)
1. Produced by a goat: Judy loved to drink caprigenous milk because she had such good childhood memories of drinking it every year at the county fair.
2. Etymology: from Latin caprigenus; caper, "goat" + gegnere "to produce".
capriloquism (s) (noun), capriloquisms (pl)
1. Egophony, or increased resonance of voice sound: Capriloquism has a high-pitched bleating characteristic, like that of a goat.

Capriloquism is also known as "bronchoegophony", "egobronchophony", "tragophonia", and "tragophony".
2. Etymology: from Latin caper, "goat", + loquor, "to speak".

caprine (adjective), more caprine, most caprine
Pertaining to, or derived from, a goat; goat-like: Mrs. Hall loved her husband's caprine beard!

On the little farm, Jack and Jill wanted to have some caprine animals so they could drink their milk!

Related goat-word units: aego-; hirco-; tragico-.