A ditch is usually defined as a small to moderate depression created to channel water.
In Anglo-Saxon, the word dïc already existed and was pronounced 'deek' in northern England and 'deetch' in the south. The origins of the word lie in digging a trench and forming the upcast soil into a bank alongside it. This practice has meant that the name dïc was given to either the excavation or the bank, and evolved to both the words 'dike'/'dyke' and 'ditch'. Thus Offa's Dyke is a combined structure and Car Dyke is a trench, though it once had raised banks as well. In the midlands and north of England, and in the United States, a dike is what a ditch is in the south, a property boundary marker or small drainage channel. Where it carries a stream, it may be called a running dike as in Rippingale Running Dike, which leads water from the catchwater drain, Car Dyke, to the South Forty Foot Drain in Lincolnshire (TF1427). The Weir Dike is a soak dike in Bourne North Fen, near Twenty and alongside the River Glen.
A ditch can be used for drainage, to drain water from low lying areas, alongside roadways or fields, or to channel water from a more distant source for plant irrigation. A trench is a long narrow ditch. Ditches are commonly seen around farmland especially in areas that have required drainage, such as The Fens in eastern England and the Netherlands.
Roadside ditches may provide a hazard to motorists and cyclists, whose vehicles may crash into them and get damaged or stuck, especially in poor weather conditions, and in rural areas.
Read more about Ditch: Sustainability of Drainage Ditches
Famous quotes containing the word ditch:
“What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“I have three phobias which, could I mute them, would make my life as slick as a sonnet, but as dull as ditch water: I hate to go to bed, I hate to get up, and I hate to be alone.”
—Tallulah Bankhead (19031968)
“If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections.... Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.”
—Newt Gingrich (b. 1943)