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Old English rod "pole," varying from 6 to 8 yards; also "cross," especially that upon which Christ suffered; "crucifix," especially a large one; also a measure of land, properly 40 square poles or perches, from Proto-Germanic *rod- (cf. Old Saxon ruoda "stake, pile, cross," Old Frisian rode, Middle Dutch roede, Old High German ruota, German Rute "rod"), from PIE *ret- "post" (cf. Latin ratis "raft," retae "trees standing on the bank of a stream;" Old Church Slavonic ratiste "spear, staff;" Lithuanian rekles "scaffolding"). Probably not connected with rod.