noun Chiefly Southern US
A sack; a bag.
Origin of poke
Middle English probably from
Old North French; see pocket
. Word History: A pig in a poke
is a colorful vernacular expression used to describe something offered in a manner that conceals its true nature or value. Naturally, a buyer cannot inspect the pig if it is covered by a poke—that is, a bag or sack. The word poke
meaning “bag” is not confined to just the American South—in many parts of Scotland, poke bag
is still used of a little paper bag for carrying purchases like candy. Poke
first appears in English in the 1200s and probably comes from Old North French, the northern dialect of Old French. The Old North French word in turn is probably of Germanic origin and is related to words like Icelandic poki,
has several relatives within English. The word pocket
comes from Middle English poket,
meaning “pouch, small bag,” which in turn comes from Anglo-Norman pokete,
a diminutive of Old North French poke. Pouche,
a variant form of Old North French poke,
is the source of the English word pouch.
A Hawaiian salad or appetizer traditionally consisting of cubed raw fish, often yellowfin tuna, that is marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, and mixed with diced onions, sesame seeds, and ginger.
Origin of poke
Hawaiian English from
Hawaiian poke to cut crosswise into pieces, a slice
(third-person singular simple present pokes, present participle poking, simple past and past participle poked)
- To prod or jab with a pointed object such as a finger or a stick. [from later 14th c.]
- To poke a fire to remove ash or promote burning.
- (figuratively) To rummage as in to poke about in. [from early 19th c.]
- (computing) To modify the value stored in (a memory address).
- To put a poke on.
- to poke an ox
- To thrust with the horns; to gore.
- (US, slang) A lazy person; a dawdler.
- (US, slang) A stupid or uninteresting person.
- (US) A device to prevent an animal from leaping or breaking through fences, consisting of a yoke with a pole inserted, pointed forward.
- (computing) The storage of a value in a memory address, typically to modify the behaviour of a program or to cheat at a video game.
Perhaps from Middle Dutch poken or German poken (both from Proto-Germanic *puk-), perhaps imitative.
- (now regional) A sack or bag. [from early 13th c.]
- A long, wide sleeve; a poke sleeve.
- (Scotland, Northern Ireland) An ice cream cone.
From Anglo-Norman poke, whence pocket
- (dialectal) Pokeweed.
Either a shortening of, or from the same source as, pocan (“pokeweed") (quod vide).