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Roman letter, from Greek kappa, ultimately from Phoenician and general Semitic kaph, said to be literally "hollow of the hand," so called for its shape. For more on the history of its use, see see C. As a symbol for potassium, it represents Latin kalium "potash." Slang meaning "one thousand dollars" is 1970s, from kilo-. As an indication of "strikeout" in baseball scorekeeping it dates from 1874, said to be from last letter of struck, perhaps because first letter already was being used as abbreviation for sacrifice. The invention of the scorecard symbols is attributed to U.S. newspaperman Henry Chadwick (1824-1908) of the old New York "Clipper."
Smith was the first striker, and went out on three strikes, which is recorded by the figure "1" for the first out, and the letter K to indicate how put out, K being the last letter of the word "struck." The letter K is used in this instance as being easier to remember in connection with the word struck than S, the first letter, would be. [Henry Chadwick, "Chadwick's Base Ball Manual," London, 1874]K as a measure of capacity (especially in computer memory) or number (especially of salary), meaning "one thousand" is an abbreviation of kilo.
The symbol for the element potassium.
kappa kap·pa (kāp'ə)
Symbol κ The tenth letter of the Greek alphabet. adj.
Relating to or characterizing a polypeptide chain that is one of two types of light chains present in immunoglobins.
A soft, highly reactive, silvery-white metallic element of the alkali group occurring in nature only in compounds. It is essential for the growth of plants and is used especially in fertilizers and soaps. Atomic number 19; atomic weight 39.098; melting point 63.65°C; boiling point 774°C; specific gravity 0.862; valence 1. See Periodic Table.
[fr the Greek prefix kilo-, ''one thousand''; baseball sense said to have been originated in a scorecard notation system either by Henry Chadwick or M J Kelly]
in Japanese folklore, a type of vampirelike lecherous creature that is more intelligent than the devilish oni (q.v.) and less malevolent toward men. Kappa are credited with having taught the art of bonesetting to humans. They are depicted in legend and art as being the size of a 10-year-old child, yellow-green in colour, and resembling monkeys, but with fish scales or tortoise shells instead of skin. On the top of their head they have hollow indentations that are filled with water; if the water is spilled, they are said to lose their supernatural powers. Legends of encounters with kappa invariably include a reference to their capacity for keeping a promise, extracted from them after forcing their heads down or by tricking them into bowing low, thus spilling out the water. They have a taste for cucumbers, and a standard way of placating kappa is to throw a cucumber into the water where they live