One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An iron-tipped stick used by hillwalkers and formerly by mountaineers.
walking stick, cane, staffView synonyms
- ‘After testing her fitness by a demanding walk he decided that she would cope and took her to be equipped with clinkered boots and an alpenstock.’
- ‘One sees them stumble on, leaning on alpenstocks or throwing their heads back to gulp the last of a skinned borraccia.’
- ‘He had a thick, heavy beard, and some pretty old gear, but the thing I remember most is this wooden alpenstock he was carrying.’
- ‘She was also fit enough, in her own words, ‘to rush up a hill using Uncle W's alpenstock.’’
- ‘As often happens in very remote, sparsely populated places, a man showed up out of nowhere: a Wakhi named Sher Ali, rough as a rock, with his own alpenstock.’
Early 19th century: from German, literally ‘Alp stick’.
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