What is the X in X-mas?
Old English dic "trench, ditch; an earthwork with a trench; moat," from Proto-Germanic *dik- (cf. Old Norse diki "ditch, fishpond," Old Frisian dik "mound, dam," Middle Dutch dijc "mound, dam, pool," Dutch dijk "dam," German Deich "embankment"), from PIE root *dheigw- "to pierce, fasten" (cf. Sanskrit dehi- "wall," Old Persian dida "wall, stronghold, fortress," Persian diz).
At first "an excavation," later (late 15c.) applied to the resulting earth mound; a sense development paralleled by cognate forms in many other languages. This is the northern variant of the word that in the south of England yielded ditch (n.).
: That woman lives with her dyke daughter and her dyke daughter-in-lawnoun
A lesbian, esp one who takes an aggressive role; bulldyke
[1930s+; origin uncertain and much debated; perhaps fr a shortening of morphodyke, dialectal and substandard pronunciation of ''hermaphrodite,'' perhaps influenced by dick, ''penis''; a source of 1896 lists dyke, ''the vulva'']
To remove or disable a portion of something, as a wire from a computer or a subroutine from a program. A standard slogan is "When in doubt, dike it out". (The implication is that it is usually more effective to attack software problems by reducing complexity than by increasing it.) The word "dikes" is widely used among mechanics and engineers to mean "diagonal cutters", especially the heavy-duty metal-cutting version, but may also refer to a kind of wire-cutters used by electronics technicians. To "dike something out" means to use such cutters to remove something. Indeed, the TMRC Dictionary defined dike as "to attack with dikes". Among hackers this term has been metaphorically extended to informational objects such as sections of code.