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What does the word dike really mean (as in, not a derogatory term for lesbians, and not the scientific term either..)??

I was reading The Lord of The Rings, The Fellowship of The Ring (yeh, the first one).. Cause I've seen the movies, and have had the books for years, yet haven't read them. So I was reading, and the book came to describing the town Bree.. & I saw "there was a deep dike, with a thick hedge on the inner side." Anyone know what dike means (sorry, I can't help but feel awkward when saying/typing that word -_--)..? I just assumed it was some kind've trench, but is that correct? And I know there's something to do with Lava/Volcanoes/etc.. But I don't really think that would apply in this circumstance..

frollard8 years ago
paganwonder8 years ago
Geology also uses the term to describe a finger like intrusion of one stone type into another.
Here in Idaho we consider it exatly what Kiteman called it... a Levee. ours are paved and used for recreation, and it wraps around the river.
Kiteman8 years ago
In the UK, a dike (often spelled dyke) is an earth-works barrier, often with a ditch beside it (where the earth came from to make the barrier).

Size is variable, from a couple of feet high to tens of feet.

Offa's Dyke is about 25 feet from ditch to bank-top, and was built as the border of an ancient Welsh kingdom.

In Northern England, dykes are frequently used as the boundaries of farms and estates, and often have a hedge planted on the top of the bank.

Today, dykes are frequently used as coastal protection - Holland is surrounded by dykes to keep the sea out. In the US, a dike is often called a levee (such as the earthen banks that were overwhelmed around New Orleans).