I came across a definition on Google Dictionary that appears very uncommon:


rob; mug.

The ODO's page on yoke says:

US informal

Attack, especially by strangling.

The example sentence they both use is

Two crackheads yoked this girl.

Since Google cops its content from the Oxford Dictionary, it does not surprise me they have similar, if not the same, content. However, I can't find this definition in any dictionary beside these two, including MW, Collins, Cambridge, Wiktionary. I'd think since it is informal language the Urban Dictionary would have relevant entries, but no not a trace. I wonder if the OED has this usage (I can't view it since it is subscription-based.)

I can't find any instances of this usage on Google Books or general Google search results either. Does yoke really have the meaning of rob, mug?

1 Answer 1


To answer your OED question, I found:

yoke (v. intr.) To join battle; to engage with an opponent, enemy, etc. Also: to fight, dispute; to argue or contend heatedly. Obsolete.

yoke (v. tr.) To attack, assault, set upon. Also: to take to task, reprove, berate.

(Definitions 11a and 11b in the OED)

Most of the cited uses are from the 1800s, like this one from 1895:

They yoked on the man as he was riding alang in his carriage.

I think this meaning is, as the dictionary entry says, obsolete. Although I've seen the word used to mean to subjugate or enslave, this is the first I've seen of it being used to attack personally or literally assail.

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