See discussion by text.


(Modern English dove)


A native reflex of PGmc *dūƀōn (cp. Go hraiwa-dubo 'turtle-dove', OIcel dúfa, OS, OFris dūve, OS dūƀa, OHG tūba; probably derived from the v. PGmc *dūƀōn, cp. OE dūfan 'dive, sink', OIcel dúfa 'dive', MLG be-duven 'be covered') is apparently lacking in PCOE (where culfre was common), but is often reconstructed on the basis of the twice-attested compound dūfe-doppe 'water bird' (glossing Lat mergus and pelicanus, see DOE). The ME n. therefore might simply be native, but even if it does not derive directly from ON, its frequency might owe something to it.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

dúfa 'dove'
(ONP dúfa (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far dúgva, dúva, Icel dúfa, Norw duva, duve, Dan due, Sw duva

OE Cognate

cp. dūfe-doppe 'water bird'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category




Recorded as an element in personal and place-names from the early 12c. (MED) and in texts from a1225(?a1200) Trin.Hom. (Trin-C B.14.52); common and widespread in ME (alongside culver).

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Cl 469, 481, 485

MS spellings <doūe> (i.e. <dovne>) at Cl 481 and <doveve> at Cl 485 are always emended and usually explained as scribal errors of some type (see 469n in Menner, Anderson and Vant).


MED dǒuve (n.) , OED dove (n.) , HTOED , de Vries dúfa (1), Mag. dúfa (1), Orel *đūƀōn, Kroonen *đūbōn, DOE dūfe-doppe, AEW dūfe, dūfe-doppe