One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Projections resembling steps on the sloping part of a gable, common in Flemish architecture and 16- and 17th-century Scottish buildings.Also called crow steps
- ‘The circular Doocot is 17th- or 18th-century with corbie steps on two sides; the lean-to roof has fallen in.’
- ‘The corbie steps of the west front, with those of the small western front of the North Chapel, which projects beyond the tower, are the only examples in the island.’
Early 19th century: from corbie and step (from the idea that the projections were suitable as steps for a perching bird such as a crow).
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