ov: Archaic Form of "Of"?


New Member
There is a band known as "Behemoth". They use "ov" instead of "of" for their lyrics (I always wondered why). I heard a fan saying that it is the archaic form of this article, and I'll be happy to know if it's indeed so.
I bet not many are familiar with the answer, so I hope I'll get any replies at all.
  • Welcome to the forum, Volhv:) I've certainly never heard this theory before. It seems to me extremely unlikely, given that the letter v was extremely rare in Old English.
    I suspect Behemoth just use ov to demonstrate their 'wildness'.
    Definitely not true. In fact the spelling 'ov' was unknown before the 1800s, even though the word (a preposition, not an article) has been pronounced that way since at least the 1500s, and probably much earlier.
    The Online Etymological Dicitonary doesn't prove this either:
    O.E. of, unstressed form of æf (prep., adv.) "away, away from," from P.Gmc. *af- (cf. O.N. af, O.Fris. af, of "of," Du. af "off, down," Ger. ab "off, from, down"), from PIE *apo- "off, away" (see apo-).​
    Untrue. Any textbook of the history of English will tell you that the letter <v> was not used in Old English. The letter <f> in Old English could be pronounced [f] or [v] depending on context, so that a word like 'heofon' (= heaven) was pronounced with [v]. The Old English form of 'of' is 'æf'. Maybe Behemoth wanted to show their quirkiness by spelling 'of' as it is pronounced?