Etymology
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pole (n.1)

"stake, staff," late Old English pal "stake, pole, post," a general Germanic borrowing (Old Frisian and Old Saxon pal "stake," Middle Dutch pael, Dutch paal, Old High German pfal, Old Norse pall) from Latin palus "a stake," from PIE *pakslo-, suffixed form of root *pag- "to fasten." Later specifically "a long, slender, tapering piece of wood."

Racing sense of "inside pole-fence surrounding a course" is from 1851; hence pole position in auto racing (1904). A ten-foot pole as a metaphoric measure of something one would not touch something (or someone) else with is by 1839, American English. The ten-foot pole was a common tool used to set stakes for fences, etc., and the phrase "Can't touch de bottom with a ten foot pole" is in the popular old minstrel show song "Camptown Races."

"I saw her eat."
"No very unnatural occurrence I should think."
"But she ate an onion!"
"Right my boy, right, never marry a woman who would touch an onion with a ten foot pole."
[The Collegian, University of Virginia, June 1839]
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pole (n.2)

"northern or southern end of Earth's axis," late 14c., from Old French pole or directly from Latin polus "end of an axis;" also "the sky, the heavens" (a sense sometimes used in English from 16c.), from Greek polos "pivot, axis of a sphere, the sky," from PIE *kwol- "turn round" (PIE *kw- becomes Greek p- before some vowels), from root *kwel- (1) "revolve, move round."

Originally principally in reference to the celestial sphere and the fixed points about which (by the revolution of the Earth) the stars appear to revolve; also sometimes of the terrestrial poles (poles of this world), the two points on the Earth's surface which mark the axis of rotation.

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Pole (n.)

"inhabitant or native of Poland," 1650s, from German Pole, singular of Polen, from Polish Polanie "Poles," literally "field-dwellers," from pole "field," related to Old Church Slavonic polje "field" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread"). The older word was Polack.

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pole (v.)

1570s, "to furnish with poles (for support)," from pole (n.1). Meaning "to push with a pole" is from 1753. Related: Poled; poling.

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pole-star (n.)

the North Star, the brightest star situated near the north pole of the heavens (see Polaris), 1550s, from pole (n.2) + star (n.).

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pole-vault (n.)

"a jump over a horizontal bar by means of a pole," 1877, from pole (n.1) + vault (n.2). As a verb from 1892 (implied in pole-vaulting). Related: Pole-vaulted; pole-vaulter.

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Poland (n.)
1560s, from Pole + land (n.). Related: Polander.
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beanpole (n.)
also bean-pole, "stick for a bean plant to grow round," 1791, from bean (n.) + pole (n.1). As "very thin person," 1837.
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flagpole (n.)
also flag-pole, 1782, from flag (n.1) + pole (n.1). Flagpole-sitting as a craze is attested from 1927.
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multipolar (adj.)

also multi-polar, "having many poles," 1846, from multi- "many" + pole (n.1) + -ar. Related: Multipolarity.

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