Why Is A Pothole Called A Pothole?

Have you ever driven on a rough road or come across a large hole in the ground that seemingly appears out of nowhere? If so, you were likely dealing with a pothole!

Not only do these pesky obstacles make for a bumpy ride, but they can also be incredibly frustrating. But, why is a pothole called a pothole? To answer this question, we’ll need to dig a little deeper into our roads and highways.

Let’s take a look at the history of the name and explore how this common road hazard got its catchy name.

Why is a Pothole Called a Pothole?

Whether you are a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian, no one likes having to deal with potholes. But have you ever wondered why it is called a “pothole?

” In this comprehensive guide, we’ll answer the question, “Why is a pothole called a pothole?”

What is a Pothole?

A pothole is a depression in the surface of a road or pavement that is often accompanied by cracking and breakage. Potholes are caused by a combination of water and pressure. When traffic passes over a weakened section of road, it erodes the surface and causes the pavement to break and become pitted.

History of the Word “Pothole”

The word “pothole” first appeared in the language in the early 1800s. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary cites the earliest use of the word in 1813, when it was used to describe a hole in a road.

By the end of the 19th Century, the term had become popular enough to be included in a variety of dictionaries.

Why is the Term “Pothole” Used?

It is believed that the term “pothole” was coined due to its resemblance to a pot. The indentations in a pothole are similar in shape to a pot with a wide base and gradually narrowing at the top, just like a pot. The round shape also makes it easy for rainwater to collect in potholes and cause further damage to roads and pavements.


Potholes are a huge inconvenience for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. Whether it is a large pothole or a small one, they can cause a lot of frustration. For those of you who have ever wondered why it is called a “pothole,” it is believed that the term was coined due to its resemblance to a pot. Citation URL: https://www. oxforddictionaries. com/definition/english/pothole https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Pothole

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