1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Interloper

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INTERLOPER, one who interferes in affairs in which he has no concern. This word, with the verbal form “to interlope,” first appears at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century in connexion with the interference of unauthorized persons in the trading monopoly of the Russia Company and later of the East India Company. The New English Dictionary quotes from H. Lane (1590), Hakluyt’s Voyages, “From those parts the Muscovites were furnished out of Dutchland by enterlopers with all arts and artificers and had few or none by us,” and also from the Minutes of the Court of the East India Company, 22nd of February 1615, “to examine all suspected personnes that intend interlopinge into the East Indies or Muscovy.” Edward Phillips (New World of Words, 1658) defines interlopers at common law as those “that without legal authority intercept the trade of a company, as it were Interleapers.” The word appears to be of English origin, for the Dutch enterlooper, smuggler, often given as the source, was taken from English, as was the French interlope. The word is a compound of inter, between, and lope, a dialectal variant of “leap.” A common word for a vagrant, or “straggler,” as it is defined, was till 1580 “landloper,” and the combination of “straggler” and “interloper” is found in Horsey’s Travels (Hakluyt Soc.), 1603–1627, “all interlopers and straglyng Englishmene lyving in that country.”