Word Confusion: Rapped vs Rapt vs Wrapped

Posted December 28, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Josie rapped hard on the table to get our attention that Christmas morning. Seems she’d been too rapt in all the wrapped presents under the tree to even notice the rest of us were eating our strawberry French toast and bacon.

Talk about the perfect trio of heterographs. They sound the same, but they sure ain’t spelled the same!

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Rapped Rapt Wrapped
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: rap

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance rapping on a door

“Knocking The Shining” is via GIPHY

If Jack Nicholson rapped on my door, I’d be going out the window.


“Rapt on Koi” is by WalterPro is under the CC BY 2.0 license, via VisualHunt.

An eager school of koi are as rapt as the girl crouching by the side of the pool.


Two women walking away from us are wrapped in a yellow sari (on the left) and an orange sari (on the right) with a wide lavendar and blue floral border, as she holds her child's hand.

“Beautiful Saris” by juho.makkonen is under the CC BY 2.0 license, via VisualHunt.

Saris are wrapped around one’s body.

Part of Grammar:
Past tense or past participle for rap


Verb, intransitive 1 & transitive 1 and 2

Third person present verb: raps
Gerund or present participle: rapping

Informal variant spelling in Australia of wrap

Adjective Past tense or past participle for wrap


Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: wraps
Archaic past tense or past participle: wrapt
Gerund or present participle: wrapping

Verb, intransitive:
Strike a hard surface with a series of rapid audible blows, especially in order to attract attention 1

[Informal; chiefly North American] Talk or chat in an easy, open, and familiar manner

To talk rhythmically to the beat of rap music

Verb, transitive:
Strike a hard surface with a series of rapid audible blows, especially in order to attract attention 1

  • Strike something against a hard surface with rapid audible blows
  • Strike (someone or something) sharply with stick or similar implement
  • [Informal] Rebuke or criticize sharply
  • Say sharply or suddenly

[Of a spirit summoned by a medium; often followed by out] To communicate a message by raps

[Slang] To criticize sharply

[Slang] To arrest, detain, or sentence for a crime

[Metallurgy] To jar a pattern loose from a sand mold

[Archaic] To carry off

  • Transport

[Archaic] To transport with rapture 2

[Archaic] To seize for oneself

  • Snatch
Completely fascinated by what one is seeing or hearing

  • Indicating or characterized by a state of fascination
  • Filled with an intense and pleasurable emotion
  • Enraptured

[Archaic] Having been carried away bodily or transported to heaven

Verb, intransitive:
[Computing; of a word, unit, or text] Be carried over to the next line or fit around a picture

[Informal; movies; television] Finish filming or recording

[Usually followed by up] To enclose in something wound or folded about

Verb, transitive:
[Usually followed by up] Cover, protect, or enclose (someone or something) in paper or soft material

  • [Wrap something around] Arrange paper or soft material around (someone or something), typically as a covering or for warmth or protection
  • Place an arm, finger, or leg around someone or something
  • Clasp
  • Embrace
  • [Informal] Crash a vehicle into a stationary object

[Computer] Cause a word or unit of text to be carried over to a new line automatically as the margin is reached, or to fit around embedded features such as pictures

To cover fingernails with a sheer silk or linen fabric, as to repair or strengthen them

To surround, envelop, shroud, or hide

To fold or roll up

[Often followed by up] To enclose in something wound or folded about

[Often followed by up] To enclose and make fast (an article, bundle, etc.) within a covering of paper or the like

To wind, fold, or bind (something) about as a covering

Examples:
Verb, intransitive:
She rapped angrily on the window.

We could be here all night rapping about the finer points of spiritualism.

I’ve never rapped before an audience.

Once again the presiding judge rapped briefly with his gavel.

Chris Brown rapped for three hours last night!

Verb, transitive:
He stood up and rapped the table.

She rapped her stick on the floor.

She rapped my fingers with a ruler.

Executives rapped the U.S. for having too little competition in international phone service.

The ambassador rapped out an order.

Madame Zlagny’s spirit guide rapped out responses to all our questions.

Critics rapped George’s play.

I got rapped for that B&E.

He rapped a little too hard on the mold and broke it.

Andrew looked at her, rapt.

They listened with rapt attention.

She shut her eyes and seemed rapt with desire.

He was rapt on high.

Verb, intransitive:
Penelope prefers her shrimp wrap wrapped in a lettuce leaf.

Melanie set the style so the text wrapped around the graphics.

Who’s been buggering with the computer settings!? My email text always wrapped before!

We wrapped on schedule three days later.

They had hoped negotiations would be wrapped up in sixty days.

Verb, transitive:
He wrapped the Christmas presents.

Leonora wrapped herself in a large white bath towel.

David wrapped the bandage around the injured limb.

He wrapped an arm around her waist.

She wrapped him in her arms.

Richard wrapped his car aound a telephone pole.

Gina had the computer set so the text automatically wrapped to the next line.

She wrapped her head in a scarf.

He wrapped the package up in brown paper.

The package was wrapped up like a Christmas tree.

Australia wrapped up the series 4–0.

Derivatives:
Noun: rap, rapper Adjective: rapturous
Adverb: raptly, rapturously
Noun: raptness, rapture, rapturousness
Noun: prewrap, underwrap, wrap, wrap-up, wrapper, wrapping
Verb: rewrap, rewrapped, rewrapping
Verb, intransitive: interwrap, interwrapped, interwrapping
Verb, transitive: prewrap, prewrapped, prewrapping.
Phrasal Verb
wrapped up
wrapped someone up
wrapped something up
History of the Word:
1 Middle English and originally in the sense of severe blow with a weapon and deliver a heavy blow is probably imitative and of Scandinavian origin.

2 A back formation from rapt that was first recorded in 1520–30.

Late Middle English in the sense of transported by religious feeling and is from the Latin raptus meaning seized, past participle of rapere. Middle English and of unknown origin.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Eight Windows Wrapped in Plastic is W.carter’s own work under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons. VisualHunt has provided Reflection by hernanpba and Knock, Knock by fredwlangjr. Both are under the CC BY 2.0 license.

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