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PALE (through Fr. pal, from Lat. paliis, a stake, for paglus, from the stem pag- of pangcre, to fix; " pole " is from the same original source), a stake, particularly one of a closely set series driven into the ground to form the defensive work known as a " palisade "; also one of the lighter laths or strips of wood set vertically and fastened to a horizontal rail to form a " paling." Used as an historical term, a pale is a district marked off from the surrounding country by a different system of government and law or by definite boundaries. The best known of these districts was the " English Pale " in Ireland, dating from the reign of Henry II., although the word " pale " was not used in this connexion until the latter part of the 14th century. The Pale varied considerably, according to the strength or weakness of the English authorities, and in the time of Henry VIII. was bounded by a line drawn from Dundalk to Kells, thence to Naas, and from Naas E. to Dalkey, embracing, that is, part of the modern counties of Dublin, Louth, Meath, and Kildare. The Pale existed until the complete subjugation of Ireland under Elizabeth; the use of the word is frequent in Tudor times. There was an " English Pale " or " Calais Pale " also in France until 1558,1 extending from Gravelines to Wissant, and for a short time under the Tudors an English Pale in Scotland.

In heraldry a " pale " is a band placed vertically in the centre of a shield, hence " in pale " or " to impale " is used of the marshalling of two coats side by side on a shield divided vertically.

" Pale," in the sense of colourless, whitish, of a shade of colour lighter than the normal, is derived through O. Fr. palle, mod. pate, from Lat. pallidus, pallor, pallere; and in that of a baker's shovel, or " peel " as it is sometimes called, from Lat. pala, spade, probably connected with the root of pandere, to spread out.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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