Copy and Paste refers to the long-standing ability to move information between desktop applications. Originally introduced in the Apple Macintosh in 1984, its use is commonplace today.
The concept is borrowed from the how page layout was done prior to desktop publishing: publishers would literally use scissors or blades to cut an article's page from a printout, and use paste (as in glue) to actually put it on a page. Through repeated cutting and pasting, a final page would be put together and finally shipped to a printer for mass reproduction.
Both Copy and Cut use a single, common Clipboard which is managed by the computer operating system, and handles storing and retrieving information between applications.
Copy is similar to Cut, however, it does not remove the original content when selected, it merely puts a copy of the content on the Clipboard.
The analogy is extended within computers, as most modern computers support cut, copy and paste of a variety of media: Files, Pictures, Rich Text, and even Audio.