v. (pres. 3 sg.)

‘sinks’ (Modern English droops)


An ON etymon, cp. OIcel drúpa 'droop' (< PGmc *đrūpōjan-, a w.v. formed on *đreupan-, cp. OIcel drjúpa ‘drip’, OE drēopan, OFris driāpa, OS driopan, OHG triofan; see further Seebold), is often cited from this v. (so MED, OED, Bj.), although it is hardly necessary to explain it as a loan. As Dance (2003: 446) and Pons-Sanz (SPS 434) point out the verbal n. drūpung 'sluggishness, torpor' occurs in an OE text which otherwise contains no Norse-derived vocabulary, and so it is more reasonable to postulate an unattested OE v. *drūpian with the same sense as the Scandinavian and ME verbs. They also note the similarity of the ideophonic v. to native verbs stūpian 'stoop' and dropian, drupian 'drop, drip' expressing the same sense area. Some input from the ON cognate could conceivably be argued for on the grounds of frequency, but a purely native source is entirely plausible.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

drúpa 'droop'
(ONP drúpa (vb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Icel drúpa, Norw drupa

OE Cognate

cp. drūpung (n.) 'sluggishness, torpor'

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



The v. is widespread in English from the 14c., but note the verbal n. drūpung 'sluggishness, torpor' in the OE version of the Letter from Wynfrith to Eadburga. Although it is preserved in an 11c. MS (London British Library, MS Cotton Otho C.i), the text may be considerably earlier (see Dance 2003: 446 fn 142 with references) and does not contain any (other) Norse-derived terms.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

WA 734*


MED drǒupen (v.)[ https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/m/mec/med-idx?type=id&id=MED12723&egs=all&egdisplay=open], OED droop (v.)[ http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/57872?isAdvanced=false&result=3&rskey=wTFy6c&], HTOED , SPS 434, Bj. 176-7, de Vries drúpa, Mag. drúpa, Orel *đrūpōjanan, Kroonen *dreupan- ~ *drūpan-, Seebold Dreup-a, DOE drūpung, AEW drūpung