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Spoke (noun)


I have put my spoke into his wheel. I have shut him up. The allusion is to the pin or spoke used to lock wheels in machinery.

Donʹt put your spoke into my wheel. Donʹt interfere with my business; Let my wheel turn, and donʹt you put a pin in to stop it or interrupt its movement. The Dutch have “Een spaak in tʹwiel steeken,” to thwart a purpose.

When solid wheels were used, the driver was provided with a pin or spoke, which he thrust into one of the three holes made to receive it, to skid the cart when it went down-hill. The carts used by railway navvies, and tram-waggons used in collieries, still have a wheel “spoked” in order to skid it.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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