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English: from Old English culfre ‘dove’ (Late Latin columbula, a diminutive of columba), which Reaney suggests was used as a term of endearment. It may therefore have been applied as nickname for a lovelorn youth or perhaps for someone who used the expression indiscriminately. Otherwise, it may have been a metonymic occupational name for a keeper of doves or a nickname for someone bearing some fancied resemblance to a dove, such as mildness of temper.