Recorded in several forms including Canape, Cannappe, Canepe, and probably others, this is a surname of French origins, but seemingly with input from other countries. If so it would seem to have three possible origins. Firstly it could be occupational for a maker of pastries or sweet meats, which seems a logical explanation. Secondly according to the French dictionary of surnames, again it could be occupational and describe a maker of hemp, as used for rope and harness and the like. However there seems to be something of a 'twist' to this origin, as the claim is that it derives from the Roman (Latin) word 'canabis' through the later French word 'cheneve'.Even allowing for centuries of transposition 'cheneve to canape' seems to be a move too far. The final possible origin is perhaps even more bizarre, being from the Norse-Viliking word 'knappr' meaning thin, an hence a medieval nickname for a thin man, or given the robust humour associated with nicknames, the complete reverse. Early examples of the surname recording include that of Andre Canape, who was christened at Paris, Seine, on June 1st 1656, and later that of Bernard Cannappe, of Montaut, in Bass-Pyrenees, on March 5th 1764.
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