One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A wagon or large basket formerly used for bringing coal out of a mine.
- ‘I wear a belt and chain at the workings to get the corves out.’
- ‘All workings here are contrived so that the full corves are put down an inclination and the empty ones up.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘basket’): from Middle Low German and Middle Dutch korf, from Latin corbis ‘basket’.
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