Poach a pocket dictionary
"WHY can we poach an egg and poach a pheasant, but in the first the egg ends in hot water, while in the second, we do?" asks Glen Smith, of the University of Queensland.
The short answer is that eggs and birds which have been poached are both "pocketed". It all goes back to the word poke, to thrust or intrude. Since one thrusts things into small bags, these became known as pokes (as in "pig in a poke"). When small bags began being built into clothes they became known as pockets, or in Old German, poche. The word pouch has similar origins.
Those who stole birds pocketed, or poached, them. Eggs which were simmered in water had (according to the experts) the appearance of a small bag, hence poached.
In Ireland poke used to mean a cone-shaped bag in which sweets were sold from corner shops and in Scotland it can mean a cone-shaped piece of paper for an ice-cream cone.
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