I know that the following forms of to carve have lately become obsolete, but are they so archaic that I can even not use them in writing (books (not formal documents, indeed)); that is, would any of them not be understood at all? The forms: Past simple: carved = corve Past participle: carved = carven or corven

  1. My name is carven on one of those rocks.
  2. I corve a craft for you.
  3. This cat (craft) is for you, corven of wood by me personally.
  • Closest I've heard to any of them is "cleaved". I think the obsolescence is because "cleave" and "carve" are similar, and the past tense of the former sounds better than the old past tenses. I would not assume that these the list you gave is going to be understood without some context. You could likely get away with it if you have a character use it... and it goes into a non-sense off topic debate among the characters as to which is the right word and which should be.
    – hszmv
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 13:29
  • 2
    I'm familiar with carven as an archaic word, but I've never come across corve(n) with this meaning. Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 14:20
  • I looked corve up in OED and it only knows the word as a variant spelling of corf which has nowt to do with carve. How did OP come to the idea that it is a recently obsolete variation on carve? Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 14:03

2 Answers 2


As a native British English speaker I would understand the first one, but unless the whole story was in old-style language I would just think it was a typo.

I wouldn't understand the other two. From the context I might be able to guess, but equally I might think they mean 'made' or 'bought' . Again, the story would need to be generally in archaic language, otherwise my brain would write it off as nonsense.


I have been reading and writing English for 60 years and I don't recall EVER reading the words "corve" or "corven". My guess is that they have not "lately become obsolete" but became obsolete a century or more ago. "Carven" I recognize as an obsolete word.

So no, unless you're writing a story set hundreds of years ago and regularly using archaic language, I wouldn't use any of these.

I'd use "carved" in all three of your examples.

Note: I am an American. Perhaps one or more of these words are in common use in some other English-speaking country.

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