One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A wagon or large basket formerly used for bringing coal out of a mine.
- ‘No cage was used, rope and chain wound the corves up the shaft and the men and boys rode the rope by inserting a wooden step into the rope and hanging on.’
- ‘I wear a belt and chain at the workings to get the corves out.’
- ‘The hurriers were not employed by the mine owners but worked directly for a collier who was paid according to the number of corves sent to bank.’
- ‘This was further compounded by the fact that Victorian children moved up to twenty corves per day, whilst being sick, malnourished and demoralised in many cases.’
- ‘All workings here are contrived so that the full corves are put down an inclination and the empty ones up.’
Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘basket’): from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch korf, from Latin corbis ‘basket’.
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