Fake Etymologies

Interesting is better than true.

kid‧nap, v. /ˈkɪdnæp/

From German obkidden, meaning “to steal” or colloquially “to snatch up.” The ob- prefix is separable, giving rise to kidden ob. This became “kidnap” by transfer through the increasingly mumbly languages Low German, Dutch, and English.

The story relating to a compound word consisting of “kid” (as in “child”) and “nab” is obviously incorrect – when an adult is abducted, it is still a kidnapping.