The Word Road

Roads are so old that we are not sure of the origin of the word ‘road’. Most experts think it came from the Middle English word ‘rode’ meaning a ‘mounted journey’. This may have come from the old English ‘rod’ from the word ‘ridden’ meaning to ‘ride’.

In England, hundreds of years ago, certain main roads were higher than the surrounding ground. This was because earth was thrown from the side ditches towards the centre. Because they were higher, they were called ‘highways’. These roads were under protection of the King’s men and were open to all travellers. Private roads were known as ‘byways’.

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