One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The wooden shaft of a pike.
pole, stick, rod, staff, shank, uprightView synonyms
- ‘The judge will refrain from any references to his quill, or his gavel, or his pikestaff, and allow the defendant to be released to spread its insidious gospel.’
- ‘Stick your head through and hey presto, it looks to have been impaled on a pikestaff above York's royal gateway.’
- ‘Skewered on a pikestaff high above the city, the silenced heads spoke eloquently of the fate awaiting those who dared plot against rulers of city and country.’
(as) plain as a pikestaff
1historical Very obvious.
clear, plain, plain to see, crystal clear, evident, apparent, manifest, patent, conspicuous, pronounced, transparent, clear-cut, palpable, prominent, marked, decided, salient, striking, distinct, bold, noticeable, perceptible, perceivable, visible, discernible, detectable, observable, tangible, recognizableView synonyms
- ‘"It is plain as a pikestaff, is it not, say the Crown that this attack on Mr Turner was committed by men who had looked for and found weapons and had chosen a fence as a suitable source for those weapons.’
- ‘It is characteristic of thoughtful people that they don't understand some things that to others are as plain as a pikestaff.’
- ‘Now there may be some at St. Blogs to whom it is plain as a pikestaff what the bishop needs to be doing.’
- ‘‘It's as plain as a pikestaff,’ spokesman John Beyer told Private Aye, ‘that there's an attempt to influence public opinion.’’
- ‘Why Ireland scores poorly is as plain as a pikestaff.’
- ‘But after the battering that it has taken this week, it is as plain as a pikestaff that most observers will be lining up with the Department of Finance on this one.’
- ‘The reason for America's present activist foreign policy is as plain as a pikestaff and is known to everybody.’
- ‘It is as plain as a pikestaff that you had too much to drink.’
- ‘The Attorney General filed an immediate petition to rehear saying "it is as plain as a pikestaff that a judge has no authority to impose a sentence above the presumptive minimum unless an enhancement factor is found."’
- ‘It is as plain as a pikestaff that we did not have all the relevant facts before us when we voted on March 18.’
2historical Ordinary or unattractive in appearance.
unattractive, plain, plain-featured, plain-looking, plain as a pikestaff, ordinary-looking, unprepossessing, unlovely, ill-favoured, uglyView synonyms
- ‘"Queer child, that Hatty!plain as a pikestaff", and Mr. Lee took up his newspaper, and put his feet on the mantel.’
- ‘Good god, man, she's plain as a pikestaff with a wardrobe fresh out of the Salvation Army.’
Late 16th century: from pike + staff.
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