Question: What is the origin of the word canape for an hors d’oeuvres?
Answer: Stay with us as we try to explain. In ancient Greece, konops was the word for mosquito. To keep mosquitoes out at night, beds and sleeping couches were hung with netting or curtains. The draped furniture was called konopion. This evolved into the French word, canape. A split occurred here, however, when the French attached the word to the couch involved and the English attached the word to the curtain itself. In English, we speak of canopy beds, for example, which would be redundant in French. In any case, the little appetizers that start with a cracker or piece of sliced French bread, with various ingredients mounded on top, came to be associated with the French word for the couch itself, because of the physical resemblance (albeit in miniature).