Where does the word “Claptrap” come from and What does Claptrap mean?

The definition of the word “Claptrap” which appeared in Nathan Bailey’s dictionary of 1720 tells the full story:

“A Clap Trap, a name given to the rant and rhimes that dramatick poets, to please the actors, let them go off with: as much as to say, a trap to catch a clap, by way of applause from the spectators at a play.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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