WA dyke, pl. dikis, dykez

'fosse, ditch' (Modern English dike, dyke)


Variant spellings of this n. indicating velar /k/ have been accounted for (so MED) by input from the ON cognate, but this is not necessary, and because it is non-initial it is not a sure test. With OE dīc 'trench, ditch, moat' (masc. and fem.) < PGmc dīk-, cp. OIcel díki (neut.) 'dike, ditch', OFris (masc.) dīk 'dike, road', OS (masc.) dīk 'pond', OHG tīh 'pond, swamp'.

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

díki 'dike, ditch'
(ONP díki (sb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far díki, Icel díki, Norw dike, dik, Dan dige, Sw dike

OE Cognate

dīc 'trench, ditch, moat'

Phonological and morphological markers

[absence of palatalization of */k/] (possibly diagnostic)

Summary category



Relevant spellings are perhaps more frequent in N/EM texts, but also occur more widely.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

WA 700, 712, 2986 etc.

At WA 3274, the D MS has the palatalized variant <dyche>.


MED dī̆ch(e (n.) , OED dike, dyke (n.1) , HTOED , (EDD sb. and v.1), de Vries díki, Mag. díki, Orel *đīkōn ~ đīkaz, Kroonen *dīka-, DOE dīc, AEW dīc