kerchief (n.) Look up kerchief at
early 13c., kovrechief "piece of cloth used to cover part of the head," especially a woman's headcloth or veil, from Anglo-French courchief, Old French couvrechief, literally "cover head," from couvrir "to cover" (see cover (v.)) + chief "head" (see chief). From late 14c. as "piece of cloth used about the person" generally, and from c. 1400 as "piece of cloth carried in the hand" to wipe the face, etc. (compare handkerchief).