Word of the DaySunday, October 13, 2013
\trih-PAN\ , noun;
a person who ensnares or entraps others.
...no one of your appearance and manners would wish to trepan a gentleman under misfortune.
-- Sir Walter Scott, Redgauntlet, 1824
"Who disturb the peace of families, who trepan with wanton arts the heirs of noble houses— who— hah ? what do such deserve ?"
-- Ann Radcliffe, The Italian, 1797
Trepan is of unknown origin, though it might have come from thieves' slang. The noun describing a person entered English in the mid-1600s, followed shortly after by the verb.
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