Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to plank

*plak- (1)

also *plāk-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to be flat;" extension of root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread."

It forms all or part of: flag (n.2) "flat stone for paving;" flagstone; flake (n.) "thin flat piece,; flaw; floe; fluke (n.3) "flatfish;" placenta; plagal; plagiarism; plagio-; planchet; plank.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek plakoeis "flat," plax "level surface, anything flat;" Lettish plakt "to become flat;" Old Norse flaga "layer of earth," Norwegian flag "open sea," Old English floh "piece of stone, fragment," Old High German fluoh "cliff."

Advertisement
platform (n.)

1540s, "plan of action, scheme, design;" 1550s, "ground-plan, drawing, sketch," senses now obsolete, from French plateforme, platte fourme, literally "flat form," from Old French plat "flat, level" (see plateau (n.)) + forme "form" (see form (n.)). These senses later went with plan (n.).

 The sense of "raised, level surface or place" in English is attested from 1550s, especially "raised frame or structure with a level surface." Specifically in geography, "flat, level piece of ground," by 1813. The railroad station sense of "raised walk along the track at a station for landing passengers and freight" is from 1832.

The U.S. political meaning, "statement of political principles and of the course to be adopted with regard to certain important questions of policy, issued by the representatives of a political party assembled in convention to nominate candidates for an election," is from 1803. It is probably originally an image of a literal platform on which politicians gather, stand, and make their appeals, and perhaps it was influenced by the earlier sense in England of "set of rules governing church doctrine" (1570s). In 19c., platform was used generally in a figurative sense for "the function of public speaking," and even was a verb, "to address the public as a speaker."

board (n.1)

"piece of timber sawn flat and thin, longer than it is wide, wider than it is thick, narrower than a plank;" Old English bord "a plank, flat surface," from Proto-Germanic *burdam (source also of Old Norse borð "plank," Dutch bord "board," Gothic fotu-baurd "foot-stool," German Brett "plank"), perhaps from a PIE verb meaning "to cut." See also board (n.2), with which this is so confused as practically to form one word (if indeed they were not the same word all along).

In late Old English or early Middle English the sense was extended to include "table;" hence the transferred meaning "food" (early 14c.), as "that which is served upon a table," especially "daily meals provided at a place of lodging" (late 14c.). Compare boarder, boarding, and Old Norse borð, which also had a secondary sense of "table" and an extended sense "maintenance at table." Hence also above board "honest, open" (1610s; compare modern under the table "dishonest"). A further extension is to "table where council is held" (1570s), then transferred to "leadership council, persons having the management of some public or private concern" (1610s), as in board of directors (1712).

"Bow to the board," said Bumble. Oliver brushed away two or three tears that were lingering in his eyes; and seeing no board but the table, fortunately bowed to that.

Meaning "table upon which public notices are written" is from mid-14c. Meaning "table upon which a game is played" is from late 14c. Meaning "thick, stiff paper" is from 1530s. Boards "stage of a theater" is from 1768.

gang-plank (n.)
also gangplank, 1842, American English, from gang in its nautical sense of "a path for walking, passage" (see gangway) + plank. Replacing earlier gang-board.
planchet (n.)

"metal disk out of which a coin is made," 1610s, from French planchette, literally "a small board," a diminutive of Old French planche (12c.; the source of plank), from Late Latin planca "board, slab, plank," which is probably from Latin plancus "flat, flat-footed," from a nasalized variant of the PIE root *plak- (1) "to be flat."

The small, heart-shaped planchette on its three legs, used in automatism and on Ouija boards, is a re-borrowing of the French word, by 1860.

If the tips of the fingers of one person, or of two, are placed lightly upon it, the board will often, after a time, move without conscious effort on the part of the operator, and the pencil-point will, it is said, trace lines, words, and even sentences. It was invented about 1855, and was for a time an object of not a little superstition. [Century Dictionary]