wicket = ticket window, etc.?

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Gavril

Senior Member
English, USA
The first definition listed in Random House for "wicket" is

a window or opening, often closed by a grating or the like, as in a door, or forming a place of communication in a ticket office, a teller's cage in a bank, etc.
I don't think I've ever heard "wicket" used this way in American English. I have seen "wicket" used this way in Canada, e.g. at the ticket counter of bus stations ("Please go to the first available wicket" = please see the first available agent).

Is "wicket" commonly used to mean "ticket window", "teller station" etc. in all English dialects, including American?

Thanks
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Not where I live, Gavril. I'll bet I don't know a single native speaker around here who knows that definition for "wicket".
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Me neither. What's strange is that Random House (which I think focuses on US English) lists this as the primary definition of wicket. If my experience is representative, Americans primarily use "wicket" in the context of cricket or croquet.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Me neither. What's strange is that Random House (which I think focuses on US English) lists this as the primary definition of wicket. If my experience is representative, Americans primarily use "wicket" in the context of cricket or croquet.
    Your experience sounds a lot like mine, Gavril, when it comes to the use of "wicket". Chatter about croquet is the only context I've ever heard "wicket" in.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    OED
    wicket: 1. a. A small door or gate made in, or placed beside, a large one, for ingress and egress when the large one is closed; also, any small gate for foot-passengers, as at the entrance of a field or other enclosure.

    †2. A small opening, esp. one through which to look out or communicate with the outside; a loophole, grill, or the like. Obs.

    1616 Extr. Aberd. Reg. (1848) II. 341 With ane litill wicket..to luik in to the paissis.
    1676 E. Coles Eng. Dict., Wicket, a casement.
    As you will see, a window from which you buy tickets may be described as a wicket, but it the use is obsolete and probably has been for 300 years. However, it is possible that some dialects retain this use.

    That said, I have never heard it in this usage.
     
    Last edited:

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I've never heard wicket meaning that either.

    :idea: Maybe the Random House dictionary is arranged on historical principles, i.e. they put the earliest meaning first, rather than the commonest. (The OED also do this.)
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I'd know what it meant if I saw it in context, but only because I dimly recall reading it somewhere (probably something old and British). I've never heard any American use it.
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I did some more Googling, and it looks like this meaning of wicket is now restricted to Canadian English: some (though not all) Canadian speakers use it for the window / counter where a ticket seller or other vendor sits.

    It's apparently widespread enough in Canada that major bus stations use it on their official signage.
     

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    I bet it's listed as a definition because not a lot of speakers know what it means. It seems like it's a combination of ticket window (wicket?).

    Thanks Gavril for teaching us more English :D.
     

    DreamerX

    Member
    English
    It’s funny how I’ve always associated the word “wicket” with wrought-iron gates even though they're not synonymous. I don’t think it’s actively used outside the field of cricket today. It’s mostly an old-fashioned term referring to a door or gate built inside of a wall, a fence, or another door. I was recently rereading The Hound of the Baskervilles, where this term is employed and the “wicket-gate” in question is actually crucial to solving the mystery. I’ve been living on and off in both Canada and the U.S., and I don’t think I’ve ever had to use it in any modern-day context, except when discussing nineteenth-century literature.

    P.S. By the way, roxcyn, I don't think that the similarity between "wicket" and "ticket window" is anything more than a coincidence. After all, "wicket" had been used in contexts that did not involve tickets.
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo.

    On the basis of the rules of English word formation, wicket could be a reasonable portmanteau word (= a blend) for "WIndow tiCKET". :)

    GS
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    The etymology does not support this view: OED
    Etymology: < Anglo-Norman = Old Northern French wiket (Norman viquet, Walloon wichet) = Old French (modern French) guichet; usually referred to the Germanic root appearing in Old Norse víkja to move, turn (Swedish vika, Danish vige); but the forms Old French guischet, wisket, Provençal guisquet indicate the possibility of another source.
    and from http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=wicket&searchmode=none
    wicket (n.) early 13c., "small door or gate," from Anglo-French wiket, from Old North French wiket (French guichet) "wicket, wicket gate," probably from Proto-Germanic *wik- (cf. Old Norse vik "nook") related to Old English wican "to give way, yield" (see weak). The notion is of "something that turns." Cricket sense of "set of three sticks defended by the batsman" is recorded from 1733.
    There were wickets before tickets... :)
     
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