"stake," O.E. pal "stake," from P.Gmc. *pal-, from L. palus "stake" (see pale(n.)). Racing sense of "inside fence surrounding a course" is from 1851. Pole-vault is attested from 1893. To not touch (something) with a ten-foot pole is from 1903, originally 40-foot pole.
"ends of Earth's axis," c.1391, from L. polus "end of an axis, the sky," from Gk. polos "pivot, axis of a sphere, the sky," from PIE *kwolo- "turn round," from base *kwel- (see cycle). Astronomical pole-star (proper name Polaris) is from 1555. The O.E. word for it was Scip-steorra "ship-star," reflecting its importance in navigation.
"inhabitant or native of Poland," 1650s, from Ger. Pole, sing. of Polen, from Pol. Poljane, lit. "field-dwellers," from pole "field," from PIE base *pele- "flat, plain" (see plane (1)).