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#332261 - Mon Nov 20 2006 10:41 AM What is the origin of the word Turnpike?
root17 Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 16 2000
Posts: 727
Loc: Rochester New York USA 
I'm pretty sure (but not positive) that this came from early toll roads where the operator would swing aside (i.e., turn 90 degrees) the gate to let the payer proceed. Any other thoughts?
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#332262 - Mon Nov 20 2006 05:57 PM Re: What is the origin of the word Turnpike? [Re: root17]
ren33 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11669
Loc: Fanling
  Hong Kong      
Yes I think so . I looked it up and the barrier, or gate turned on a pike, or vertical pin with a spike in the ground. Interesting.
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#332263 - Thu Dec 07 2006 09:35 PM Re: What is the origin of the word Turnpike? [Re: ren33]
mnbates Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 18 2003
Posts: 171
Loc: Southport, Lancashire, England
It may derive from pike(d) barriers which were erected across roads to hold up riders, possibly Romano-British in origin from 1st or 2nd century CE(AD).

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Tin
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#332264 - Fri Dec 08 2006 01:04 PM Re: What is the origin of the word Turnpike? [Re: mnbates]
gretas Offline
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Registered: Thu Jan 05 2006
Posts: 293
Loc: Northern Maine, USA
I've often wondered about this very same topic. I wonder, too, if the phrase "Best thing to come down the pike in a long time" is connected to the term "turnpike" or has its own origins. Anyone?
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#332265 - Sat Dec 09 2006 07:21 PM Re: What is the origin of the word Turnpike? [Re: gretas]
maggotbrain Offline
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Registered: Mon Sep 11 2006
Posts: 17
Loc: England UK
Never heard that phrase before, however, as the word "pike" has at various points come to mean the road as well as just the turnpike itself, I would say yes.The first occasion in print I could find came from 1901, but it must have been around longer than that.

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#332266 - Mon Dec 11 2006 05:26 AM Re: What is the origin of the word Turnpike? [Re: maggotbrain]
damnsuicidalroos Offline
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Registered: Mon Feb 10 2003
Posts: 2167
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
I have no idea if my idea has any possiblility of being correct but I was thinking that perhaps the first use of the term "turnpike" might be.......Once upon a time in the old days many roads were owned by either the builders of said roads or by royalty(Kings Highway?). These roads were guarded by men to ensure that anyone using the roads paid the toll(or road tax), the guards were armed with pikes. When the toll was paid the guards would turn the pike aside and the person could pass. Over time the phrase was shortened to turnpike. As the years past and carriages and other larger modes of transportation were used and physical barriers with pikes were needed to stop people,carts and carriages etc. From these early methods modern turnpikes evolved.


Edited by damnsuicidalroos (Mon Dec 11 2006 05:28 AM)
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#332267 - Mon Dec 11 2006 11:23 AM Re: What is the origin of the word Turnpike? [Re: damnsuicidalroos]
gretas Offline
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Registered: Thu Jan 05 2006
Posts: 293
Loc: Northern Maine, USA
Heck, it sounds as plausible as any other explanation...more so, in fact!
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