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Old English geoc "yoke," earlier geoht "pair of draft animals," from Proto-Germanic *yukam (cf. Old Saxon juk, Old Norse ok, Danish aag, Middle Dutch joc, Dutch juk, Old High German joh, German joch, Gothic juk "yoke"), from PIE *jugom "joining" (see jugular). Figurative sense of "heavy burden, oppression, servitude" was in Old English.
Old English geocian, from yoke (n.). Related: Yoked; yoking.
(1.) Fitted on the neck of oxen for the purpose of binding to them the traces by which they might draw the plough, etc. (Num. 19:2; Deut. 21:3). It was a curved piece of wood called _'ol_. (2.) In Jer. 27:2; 28:10, 12 the word in the Authorized Version rendered "yoke" is _motah_, which properly means a "staff," or as in the Revised Version, "bar." These words in the Hebrew are both used figuratively of severe bondage, or affliction, or subjection (Lev. 26:13; 1 Kings 12:4; Isa. 47:6; Lam. 1:14; 3:27). In the New Testament the word "yoke" is also used to denote servitude (Matt. 11:29, 30; Acts 15:10; Gal. 5:1). (3.) In 1 Sam. 11:7, 1 Kings 19:21, Job 1:3 the word thus translated is _tzemed_, which signifies a pair, two oxen yoked or coupled together, and hence in 1 Sam. 14:14 it represents as much land as a yoke of oxen could plough in a day, like the Latin _jugum_. In Isa. 5:10 this word in the plural is translated "acres."
wooden bar or frame used to join draft animals at the heads or necks so that they pull together. In the early Middle East and in Greece and Rome, oxen and onagers were yoked across the horns or necks. Control of a team of yoked beasts was difficult. Furthermore, ancient yokes pressed against a hard-pulling animal's windpipe, choking it. The invention of the horse collar solved this problem and led to the replacement of oxen by horses. In some areas of the world, however, oxen still are yoked together much as they were in medieval Europe.