Etymology
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hike (v.)

1809, hyke "to walk vigorously," an English dialectal word of unknown origin. A yike from 1736 answers to the sense. Not in widespread popular use until early 20c.

HIKE, v. to go away. It is generally used in a contemptuous sense. Ex. "Come, hike," i.e. take yourself off; begone. [Rev. Robert Forby, "The Vocabulary of East Anglia," London, 1830]

Sense of "pull up" (as pants) first recorded 1873 in American English, and may be a variant of hitch; extended sense of "raise" (as wages) is 1867. Related: Hiked; hiking.

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hitchhike 

1921 (n.), 1923 (v.), from hitch (v.), from the notion of hitching a sled, etc. to a moving vehicle (a sense first recorded 1880) + hike (n.). Related: Hitchhiked; hitchhiking. Hitchhiker attested from 1927.

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hiker (n.)

1908, agent noun from hike (v.). Earlier as a type of boat:

The "hiker" or "tuck-up" as it is more generally termed, is a craft peculiar to the Delaware River, and is to the youth residing along the banks of that stream what the racing shell is to the Torontonian .... The origin of the name "hiker" is veiled in mystery. No member of the clubs engaged in sailing these boats can give anything like a satisfactory derivation of the word. The most common explanation is that it is corrupted from the local verb "to hike," which means to run or fly swiftly. ["Harper's Young People," 1885]
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backpack (n.)

also back-pack, 1904, "bag with shoulder straps that allow it to be carried on a person's back," from back (n.) + pack (n.). By 1916 as a verb, "to hike while carrying supplies in a backpack." Related: Backpacked; backpacking.

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league (n.2)

itinerary unit in medieval England, distance of about three statute miles, late 14c., ultimately from Late Latin leuga (source also of French lieue, Spanish legua, Italian lega), which is said by Roman writers to be from Gaulish. A vague measure (perhaps originally an hour's hike), in England it was a conventional, not a legal measure, and in English it is found more often in poetic than in practical writing.

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