'cave' (Modern English )


cp. OIcel gróf 'pit, ditch, ravine' < PGmc *grōƀō (cp. Go grobo 'dugout, hole', ODu gruova, OHG gruoba 'pit' ), an ō-stem n. formed on the preterite sg. grade of the st. v. graƀan 'to dig' (on which is also derived *graƀ-, cp. OE græf 'grave, tunnel, mine, trench', etc.). OED suggests that the source is early modern Dutch groeve, but its early use in N place-names (see MED and EPNE) and the early textual attestation of this n. in WA may suggest an ON source is more likely.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

gróf 'pit, ditch, ravine'
(ONP gróf (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far grógv, Norw grôv

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



This is the earliest textual attestation of this n., which otherwise occurs in place-names, e.g. Petegroves in Cumbria. 

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

WA 5394


MED grọ̄v(e (n.(2)) , OED groove (n.) , EDD groove (sb. and v.), de Vries gróf, Mag. gróf, Orel *ʒrōƀō, Kroonen *grōƀō, EPNE gróf