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"peddler, itinerant tradesman," Middle English form of Old English ceapman "tradesman," from West Germanic compound *kaupman- (cf. Old High German choufman, German Kauffman, Middle Dutch and Dutch koopman), formed with equivalents of man (n.) + West Germanic *kaup- (cf. Old Saxon cop, Old Frisian kap "trade, purchase," Middle Dutch coop, Dutch koop "trade, market, bargain," kauf "trader," Old English ceap "barter, business; a purchase"), from Proto-Germanic *kaupoz- (cf. Danish kjøb "purchase, bargain," Old Norse kaup "bargain, pay;" cf. also Old Church Slavonic kupiti "to buy," a Germanic loan-word), probably an early Germanic borrowing from Latin caupo (genitive cauponis) "petty tradesman, huckster," of unknown origin. Cf. also cheap (adj.).