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See also: neffe



Alternative forms




From Middle High German neve, from Old High German nefo, nevo, from Proto-West Germanic *nefō, from Proto-Germanic *nefô. Cognate with Dutch neef, obsolete English neve. Further from Proto-Indo-European *népōts, whence English nephew, which see for more.

The form with -ff- is irregular and was spread by Luther. The development -v--ff- before a sonorant (here the n of the inflected forms) is also found in Early Modern German Offen, Freffel for Ofen, Frevel, and frequently in Low German; compare Middle Low German effen, gaffel, neffel, neffen for even, gavel, nevel, neven (the last in the sense of “next to”).


  • IPA(key): /ˈnɛfə/
  • Audio:(file)



Neffe m (weak, genitive Neffen, plural Neffen, feminine Nichte)

  1. nephew (son of one's sibling or sibling-in-law)
  2. (obsolete) another male relative, especially a grandson, but also a cousin etc.




  • ? German Low German: Neffe

Further reading

  • Neffe” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  • Neffe” in Duden online
  • Neffe” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon