My sister-in-law wrote in her memoirs that while she and her sister were scavenging for food and water in a burned-out town in Germany during the war, they found and used a pede, which she described in terms that made it clearly a carrying pole, like this:

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I have not been able to find the word pede, either in German or English. Perhaps, since she was originally from East Prussia, it was an Old Prussian word? Or some other language? I am really perplexed, and my SiL is no help; she doesn't remember the word, either. But there it is.

Edited to Add: Now that I've accepted an answer ("Yoke"), I've continued to investigate the matter, and it now appears that the word may be Low Prussian: "It developed on a Baltic substrate through the influx of Dutch and Low German speaking immigrants." This notion is especially attractive because my sister-in-law seems to have picked up the word during her residence in the burned-out town of Preussisch Holland (or Prussian Holland), a town which was specifically settled by immigrants from Holland in the 13th Century.

  • Are you looking for a confirmation that the word 'pede' really exists?
    – user66974
    Jun 20, 2014 at 5:23
  • @Josh61: Not confirmation. I am trying to find out if the word, or some form of it, actually exists, or if it does not, is there actually a single word that corresponds to "carrying pole"? Jun 20, 2014 at 6:11
  • 2
    I think 'yoke' is used to indicate a carrying pole.
    – user66974
    Jun 20, 2014 at 6:42
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrying_pole yoke is used to name the pole/bar which carries the two loads. It's also called a shoulder pole and a milkmaid's yoke.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 20, 2014 at 8:01
  • Yoke: A frame designed to be carried across a person's shoulders with equal loads suspended from each end. thefreedictionary.com/Yoke
    – user66974
    Jun 20, 2014 at 8:45

2 Answers 2


The English word for this is "yoke". It is not very common today, as the object it refers to is not common in developed countries today.

Edit: definition 3.a from the OED:

A frame fitted to the neck and shoulders of a person for carrying a pair of pails, baskets, etc.

  • I don't think this is the word, the OP is looking for. I'm sure he's well aware of its meaning and use. I associate a yoke with cattle, or with a strong man ploughing the field alone, not with a bar or pole.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 20, 2014 at 7:44
  • 4
    @Mari-LouA: that is one meaning of it. I also associate it with a milkmaid carrying two pails of milk. (Hmm. That's the only context in which I would say pail rather than bucket).
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 20, 2014 at 7:48
  • @Mari-LouA, Colin is right, this is a correct word for it, I am simply hoping that pede is also a word for it. My sister-in-law was very deliberate about the word, I don't know where she came up with it (and neither does she, now; age has taken its toll), but it just feels right to me. I am probably nuts. Jun 20, 2014 at 16:03
  • @Cyberherbalist If the entry was handwritten, it's probably a transcription error, if the loop is less than circular it could look like an -e, and joined up to the -l might make it look like a -d ?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 20, 2014 at 16:16
  • No, @Mari-LouA, what I have was typewritten. She wrote the book back in 1980, and if there were a transcription error, she made it herself -- I don't know if she first wrote it in longhand, but she definitely transcribed it herself if she did. Jun 20, 2014 at 16:55

The term “lecticarerum” is a neologism from the Latin “lectica rerum”, referring to a two-person carrying pole.

  • 3
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