Recently, I heard the word “kidnapping” on the nightly news and wondered about its origins. This is what I found on the Online Dictionary: Used since the 1680s, “thieves’ cant, a compound of kid (n.) “child” and nap (v.) “snatch away,” which probably is a variant of nab (v.). Perhaps a back-formation from kidnapper, which is recorded earlier. Originally it was used to describe the act of “stealing children to provide servants and laborers in the American colonies.”
Wow, I never knew that.