Apr 15, 2016

Wordology, Bollard

A bollard was originally a wooden or metal post that was used to moor a ship. In the 20th century, a bollard became a post meant to obstruct cars and other traffic or to separate cars from people, cars from buildings, etc. Many places decorate them to give some visual appeal.

In New York, bollards are most often found by fire hydrants. Wellington, New Zealand, has bollards with their tops curled into the spiral shape of plants. For decades, Amsterdam used bollards to distinguish people spaces from car spaces on streets without elevated sidewalks. In Mexico City some bollards are shaped like little pyramids.