The Meaning of Fence

28 May

Fencing Comic2Just for curiosity sake, we looked up the definition of the word “fence”.  Of course, most of the meanings behind the word revolve around the protective structures we know and love here at Fence City.  But we really have to wonder how, over the many years of time, did the word ever take on meanings that relate to stolen goods?  And, like the chicken-or-the-egg-which-came-first debate, we wonder if our definition of fence came before or after that of fighting with swords? 🙂

CLOSEUP estateFENCE
fens/
noun:  fence; plural noun:  fences
  1. a barrier, railing, or other upright structure, typically of wood or wire, enclosing an area of ground to mark a boundary, control access, or prevent escape.
    synonyms:  barrier, fencing, enclosure, barricade, stockade, palisade, fenceline, railing
    • a large upright obstacle used in equestrian jumping events.
  2. a guard or guide on a plane, saw, or other tool.
  3. informal:  a person who deals in stolen goods.
    synonyms:  receiver of stolen goods, dealer.  “a fence dealing mainly in jewelry”
FENCE_PVCfancyverb: fence; 3rd person present: fences; past tense: fenced; past participle: fenced; gerund or present participle: fencing
  1. surround or protect with a fence.
    “our garden was not fully fenced”
    synonyms:  enclose, surround, circumscribe, encircle, circle, encompass
    • enclose or separate with a fence for protection or to prevent escape.
      “everything is fenced in to keep out the wolves”
      synonyms:  confine, pen in, coop up, shut in, separate off, corral
      “he fenced in his chickens”
    • use a barrier to exclude someone or something.
      “Idaho law requires people to fence out cows”
  2. informal:  deal in (stolen goods).
    “after stealing your ring, he didn’t even know how to fence it”
  3. fight with swords, especially as a sport.
    1. conduct a discussion or argument in such a way as to avoid the direct mention of something.
      “we were fencing, not talking about the subject we’d come to talk about”

Finding out the history behind or meaning of everyday items can be interesting — hopefully you find it so today!  If you did, then feel free to check out some of our other articles (listed below).  And, when you’re looking to pawn your grandmother’s family heirloom, don’t call us — but if your neighbor is looking to replace that tumble-down privacy fence that’s bothered you for years, we hope you will send him our way!

LOGO patrioticFence City
619 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville PA 18936
www.fencecity.com    215-362-8200

Related Posts:   A Bit of Fence History,   Fence Law History,   Even More Fence History

Related Links:   Local Township Fence Codes,   About Fence City

 

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