dyke

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English[edit]

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Etymology 1[edit]

Variant of dike.

Noun[edit]

dyke (plural dykes)

  1. Alternative spelling of dike.
  2. (Australia, slang) A toilet.
    1977, In Cubbaroo's dim distant past
    They built a double dyke.
    Back to back in the yard it stood
    An architectural dream in wood

    — Ian Slack-Smith, The Passing of the Twin Seater, from The Cubbaroo Tales, 1977. Quoted in Aussie Humour, Macmillan, 1988, ISBN 0-7251-0553-4, page 235.
  3. (UK) A ditch (rarely also refers to similar natural features, and to one natural valley, Devil's Dyke, Sussex, due to a legend that the devil dug it).
  4. (UK, mainly S England) An earthwork consisting of a ditch and a parallel rampart.
  5. (UK) An embankment to prevent inundation, or a causeway.
  6. (UK, mainly Scotland and N England) A mound of earth, stone- or turf-faced, sometimes topped with hedge planting, or a hedge alone, used as a fence.
  7. (UK, mainly Scotland and N England) A dry-stone wall usually forming a boundary to a wood, field or garden.
  8. (UK, geology) A body of once molten igneous rock that was injected into older rocks in a manner that crosses bedding planes.
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Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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Unknown; various theories suggested.

Attested US 1942, in Berrey and Van den Bark’s American Thesaurus of Slang.[1]

Noun[edit]

dyke (plural dykes)

  1. (slang, pejorative) A lesbian, particularly one who appears macho or acts in a macho manner. This word has been reclaimed, by some, as politically empowering. (See usage notes.)
Usage notes[edit]

In the sense of a gay woman, this term is generally derogatory when used by heterosexuals (and sometimes when used by non-heterosexuals), but, it is also used by some lesbians and bisexual women to refer to themselves, positively. A similar approach to the possibility of reclamation is evident in the use of the word queer among some lesbians, bisexual women, and others; see reclaimed word and reappropriation for discussion. It is important to note that many people do not believe that “queer” is able to be reclaimed, because of its fraught history and continued pejorative usage. Thus, the terms “dyke” and “queer” are both potentially liberatory while also being highly contested.

Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "dike, dyke, n.3" The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford UP. 4 Apr. 2000 <http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50064031>.

Anagrams[edit]


Scots[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Old English dīc

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

dyke (plural dykes)

  1. A dry-stone wall usually forming a boundary to a wood, field or garden.
  2. A mound of earth, stone- or turf-faced, sometimes topped with hedge planting, used as a fence between any two portions of land.
  3. A hedge