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.
- enPR: pīt'-(ə)l
- enPR: pĭd'-(ə)l (probably influenced by picle and piddle)
- enPR: pĭk'-(ə)l (picle variant, most commonly)
- enPR: pīk'-(ə)l (picle variant, occasionally)
pightle (plural pightles)
- (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.
- Speaking the Norfolk dialect - Basic level
- James A. H. Murray [et al.], editor (1884–1928) A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697; and The Oxford English Dictionary; being a Corrected Re-issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (the First Supplement), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933, OCLC 2748467.
- Percy Manning, "Notes on the place-names and field-names of the Parish of Watford, Herts.", Transactions of the Hertfordshire Natural History Society and Field Club Vol. X, Part 6, pp. 193–212, London: Gurney and Jackson, 1900.
- Joseph Wright, The English Dialect Dictionary: Being the Complete Vocabulary of All Dialect Words Still in Use, Or Known to Have Been in Use During the Last Two Hundred Years; Founded on the Publications of the English Dialect Society and on a Large Amount of Material Never Before Printed, Oxford University Press (1970)
- A Dictionary of the English Language Samuel Johnson (W Strahan ‧London, 15 April 1755)