Pole vs. Poll

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A pole is (1.) a slender, rounded, long piece of wood or metal. Often, one end of a pole is stuck in the ground and used as a support for a tent or something similar. A pole may also be (2.) a simple fishing rod (3.) the front innermost starting position at a racetrack (4.) an archaic British unit of measure. Pole may also be used as a transitive verb to mean (5.) to move a boat by applying a long pole to the bottom of a canal or river and pushing the boat along. Pole comes from the Old English pal, meaning stake, pole, post. When Pole is capitalized, it refers to an inhabitant of Poland.

A poll is (1.) the process of casting votes or the number of votes cast in an election (2.) the polls are where votes are cast. Poll is often used to mean (3.) opinion poll, a canvassing of a group of people or an area to survey public opinion. In the United States, poll may be used as a verb, meaning (4.) to take the individual verdicts from a jury. Poll may also mean (5.) a person’s scalp. The poll of an animal’s head is immediately behind or between the ears, to poll an animal means (6.) to remove or shorten its horns, especially said of cattle. The word poll first shows up in the thirteenth century, referring to the human head. In the seventeenth century poll comes to mean counting heads, from the Middle Low German polle or hair of the head, head, top of a tree.


A Native American tribe has sent a 22-foot-long, intricately carved totem pole on a journey through the Pacific Northwest to draw attention to proposed coal export terminals they said would endanger not only their traditional way of life, but also threatens to pollute the region’s pristine waters which serve as a salmon habitat. (Aljazeera America)

Catch me if you can! Watch cheeky squirrel drives a cat nuts as it keeps just out of claws’ reach on telegraph pole (The Daily Mail)

A major annual poll conducted by Gallup indicates that American parents are increasingly dissatisfied with the reliance on standardized testing in American schools. (The Daily Caller)

46 per cent voting in Bengaluru civic corporation poll was carried out in a peaceful manner barring stray cases of heated arguments by cadres and supporters of rival political parties (India Today)

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