Word Origin & History
late O.E. træppe "snare, trap," from P.Gmc. *trap- (cf. M.Du. trappe "trap, snare"), related to Gmc. words for "stair, step, tread" (cf. M.Du., M.L.G. trappe, treppe, Ger. Treppe "step, stair"). Probably connected to O.Fr. trape, Sp. trampa "trap, pit, snare," but the exact relationship is uncertain.
The connecting notion seems to be "that on which an animal steps." Sense of "deceitful practice, trickery" is first recorded 1680s. Sense in speed trap recorded from 1906. Slang meaning "mouth" is from 1776. The verb is attested from late 14c. (O.E. had betræppan); trap door is first attested late 14c.
"expanse of dark igneous rock," 1794, from Swed. trapp (1766), from trappa "stair," related to M.L.G. trappe "staircase" (see trap
). So called from the step-like appearance of the rock.
"drums, cymbals, bells, etc.," 1925, from earlier trap drummer (1903) "street musician who plays a drum and several other instruments at once," perhaps from traps "belongings" (1813), shortened form of trappings