riding

As I write this, it’s election time here in Canada, and while as a US citizen I can’t vote, I can enjoy kibitzing the linguistic aspects of another country’s politics. One of the words that has jumped out at me is riding. It’s a Canadian term for a member of parliament’s constituency, what we would call a district back in the States. I would have guessed that the term’s origin had something to do with the distance someone could ride a horse to get to the polls or something similar, but upon looking it up, I was taking aback. It’s a very old word with a much more interesting etymology than I would have imagined.

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