Cobintree

is a name given to WAYFARING TREE (Viburnum lantana), Coven-tree is the variation in some areas (Grigson. 1955; Dartnell & Goddard). The name appears in a rhyme spoken in a children's game:

Keppy-ball, keppy-ball, Cobin-tree, Come down and tell me, How many years old Our (Jenny) will be ...

The number of keps, or catches before the ball falls is the age. But these names were given in Scotland to any tree that stood before a Scottish mansion house; it was under this tree that the laird always went out to greet his visitors. So the word is covyne, a meeting place. Keppy in the song may be the Scottish kep, to meet (Rowling).

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