From Middle English lufe, lofe (“palm of the hand”), from Old English *lōfa, from Proto-Germanic *lōfô (“palm of the hand; paw; oar blade, paddle”), from Proto-Indo-European *lāp-, *lēp- (“to be flat”). Cognate with Scots luif (“the palm of the hand”), Swedish love (“wrist”), Icelandic lófi (“palm of the hand”), Gothic [script?] (lófa, “palm of the hand”), German dialectal Laffe (“flat hand, palm”). Related to glove.
- (nautical) The after part of the bow of a ship where the sides begin to curve.
From Middle English lof (“a contrivance for altering a ship's course, paddle, oar”), from Middle Dutch loef (“an oar or paddle used in steering”), ultimately from the same origin as Etymology 1.