shunpike was our Word of the Day on 02/27/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
America's love affair with the automobile and the development of a national system of superhighways (along with the occasional desire to seek out paths less-traveled) is a story belonging to the 20th century. So the word shunpike, too, must be a 20th-century phenomenon, right? Nope. Toll roads have actually existed for centuries (the word turnpike has meant "tollgate" since at least 1678). In fact, toll roads were quite common in 19th-century America, and "shunpike" has been describing side roads since the middle of that century, almost half a century before the first Model T rolled out of the factory.
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