Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Middle English coveren < Old French covrir < Latin cooperire (to cover completely).

This commonly alleged etymology sounds so dubious. French ouvrir "to open" is likey derived from Latin operire, while couvrir "to cover, close" unlikey from cooperire. The prefix co- would be the last to be used for making such an antonym.

Alternatively, both English cover and French couvrir "to cover" may be cognate with French couver "to sit on eggs", all derived from Latin cubare "to lie," which in turn was derived from Greek κύβος (kybos) "cube, vertebra." More cognates include Latin cubus "cube," cubitum "elbow, cubit," incubare "to sit on eggs, incubate," English incumbent, hump, hive, hip, OHG huf "hip," etc. As such, this etymology is so fertile that it might also include even English cup, cap, cape, cove, hoof, etc.

The incubus is said to "lie on" a woman, while the succubus to "lie under" a man, to have sexual intercourse with her or him in their sleep. To lie on one thing after another is to heap or build up vertically as cubes and vertebras do. To sit on eggs or chickens is to kneel down and cover them up.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the original sense of the verb and noun cover was hide from view as in its cognate covert. Except in the limited sense of cover again, the word recover is unrelated and is cognate with recuperate.

Korean (gub) means "hoof, heel (as of shoes), foot (as of bowels)." As a stem of the verb 굽다 (gubda) and its cognate 굽히다 (gubhida), it means "to bend, curve, mount, roast, bake, etc." Meanwhile, Korean 눕다 (nubda) "to lie on the back" is reminiscent of Latin nubere "for a woman to marry" and English nubile, nuptial, nymph, etc. However phono-semantically similar, Korean words remain a false cognate to Indo-European.

-- Please comment if the above content is worth the Etymology section of this article. Thanks. --KYPark 00:30, 27 August 2006 (UTC)