roe (n.1)

"mass of fish eggs," mid-15c., roughe, probably from an unrecorded Old English *hrogn, from Proto-Germanic *khrugnaz (source also of Old Norse hrogn, Danish rogn, Swedish rom, Flemish rog, Middle Low German and Middle Dutch roge, Old High German rogo, German Rogen "roe"), from PIE *krek- "frog spawn, fish eggs" (source also of Lithuanian kurklė, Russian krjak "spawn of frogs"). The exact relation of the Germanic words to each other is unclear, and the Middle English word might be rather from Middle Dutch.

roe (n.2)

"species of small deer of the Old World," Middle English ro, from Old English ra, raha, from Proto-Germanic *raikhaz (source also of Old Norse ra, Old Saxon reho, Middle Dutch and Dutch ree, Old High German reh, German Reh "roe"), a word of uncertain origin; perhaps from PIE root *rei- "streaked, spotted, striped in various colors." Improperly used of the adult female of the hart.

updated on September 11, 2021