Talk:pike

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Wiktionary:Requests for deletion - kept[edit]

Kept. See archived discussion of September 2008. 06:01, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Etymology of one sense[edit]

@DTLHS: pike (to bet or gamble with only small amounts of money) – any thoughts about the etymology? — SGconlaw (talk) 19:20, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Not really. Maybe it's from a playing card that has a pike on it? Just a guess. DTLHS (talk) 19:25, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Cassell's Dictionary of Slang, "piker": (US) a small-time gamber; a mean, grasping person, one who will not take the least risk, esp to help others. (on piker: In the latter instance the term originally denoted poor immigrants to California.) DTLHS (talk) 19:27, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Ah, perhaps a back-formation? — SGconlaw (talk) 19:44, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
If piker is attested before pike that seems likely. DTLHS (talk) 20:02, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Derivation from Middle English "pyke"[edit]

@Hazarasp, looking at the quotations given in MED Online, Middle English pike (or pik) looks well attested and it's hard to say pyke is the more predominant form. What evidence have you found that says the opposite? Is it not more likely that if the form pike existed in Middle English, that was the form which modern English adopted? — SGconlaw (talk) 07:10, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Of course both would've existed; what I'm asserting is that "pyke" was more common. Searching the page "pyk" on the MED entry gives 66 matches, "pik" gives 64 matches, "pike" gives 43 matches, and "pyke" gives 40 matches. Note that these results are for the combination of letters and thus include plurals and compounds; "pike " with a space gives 9 matches, and "pyke " gives 11 matches. Based in the inconclusive evidence, I would say that "pyke" is slightly more common. --Hazarasp (talk) 07:30, 8 May 2018 (UTC)