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1570s, from Southwest Midlands dialectal eovese (singular), from Old English efes "edge of a roof," also "edge of a forest," from Proto-Germanic *ubaswa-/*ubiswa (cf. Old Frisian ose "eaves," Old High German obasa "porch, hall, roof," German Obsen, Old Norse ups, Gothic ubizwa "porch;" German oben "above"), from the root of over. Treated as plural and a new singular form eave emerged 16c.