From Middle High German korp, from Old High German korb, chorp, from Proto-Germanic *kurbaz, possibly a borrowing from Latin corbis. Compare Dutch korf, English corf, Danish kurv, Swedish korg, Icelandic karfa.
The sense “rejection of a (romantic) request” is formed back from the expressions einen Korb geben (“to so reject”), einen Korb kriegen (“to be so rejected”). These derive from certain older customs, which involved a bottomless basket as a symbol of the end or inexistence of love. The further origin of this symbol seems uncertain, though it has been plausibly related to the apparent mediaeval practice of pulling a secret visitor up to one’s window in a basket. Compare the same in Dutch een korf krijgen and Swedish få korgen.
- basket; creel
- (aviation) nacelle
- (law) a set of laws around a certain theme
- (informal) rejection of a request, typically romantic, such as a proposal or asking for a date
- Korb in Duden online