A spoke is one of some number of rods radiating from the center of a wheel (the hub where the axle connects), connecting the hub with the round traction surface.
The term originally referred to portions of a log which had been split lengthwise into four or six sections. The radial members of a wagon wheel were made by carving a spoke (from a log) into their finished shape. A spokeshave is a tool originally developed for this purpose. Eventually, the term spoke was more commonly applied to the finished product of the wheelwright's work, than to the materials he used.
Famous quotes containing the word spoke:
“The loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind.”
—Oliver Goldsmith (17281774)
“Then the well spoke to me.
It said: Abundance is scooped from abundance,
yet abundance remains.
Then I knew.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)
“Speak when youre spoken to! the Queen sharply interrupted her.
But if everybody obeyed that rule, said Alice, who was always ready for a little argument, and if you only spoke when you were spoken to, and the other person always waited for you to begin, you see nobody would ever say anything, so that”
—Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (18321898)