pightle

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Uncertain; probably a diminutive; forms widely attested from the early 13th century CE. Manning sees two different origins for the picle and pightle types, picle deriving from the verb to pick, as a portion of land picked off from a larger field, but pightle deriving from pight, an archaic past participle of the verb to pitch, as a portion of land pitched or set out from an open field. Since many dictionaries conflate the two terms, it is likely that they have influenced each other. Pingle seems to have appeared somewhat later than the other two types. Many instances of alternation with them are known, but it is unclear if it has a separate origin. Reformation by folk etymology with terms like piddle and pigtail is common.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pightle (plural pightles)

  1. (archaic, dialectal) A small piece of enclosed land, often by a hedge. Some authorities also indicate that a pightle tends to be associated with a house or messuage.

References[edit]