1680s, "to feed and stir up a fire in a fireplace or furnace," back-formation from stoker (1650s); ultimately from Dutch stoken "to stoke," from Middle Dutch stoken "to poke, thrust," related to stoc "stick, stump," from Proto-Germanic *stok- "pierce, prick," from PIE *steug-, extended form of root *(s)teu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat" (see stick (v.)).
Meaning "to stir up, rouse" (feelings, etc.) is from 1837. Stoked "enthusiastic" recorded in surfer slang by 1963, but the extension of the word to persons is older, originally "to eat, to feed oneself up" (1882).
Having "stoked up," as the men called it, the brigades paraded at 10.30 a.m., ready for the next stage of the march. ["Cassell's History of the Boer War," 1901]
updated on September 25, 2018