One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pole or spar made out of the stem of a young tree; (NZ) one made out of a kauri; a kauri sapling.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in William Scoresby (1789–1857), Arctic scientist and Church of England clergyman. Origin uncertain. Perhaps from a borrowing of German regional (chiefly Low German) Rick pole, rail, lath (Middle Low German rik, denoting wooden poles, laths, etc. in various specifically uses, of uncertain origin) + -er.
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