1) As a noun ‘switch’ was a slender tree shoot or branch, used by farmers as a whip to control animals.

1642 a small switch in your hande, and to switch her sowndly, Elmswell. The verb could also refer to cutting off the switches from a tree or hedge: 1688 that everie one shall cutt and swich thiere hedgs where they are annoyance to the hye way, Kirkburton

1763 occupiers of land adjoining to Mean Lane switch the hedges and scour the ditches, Meltham.

dates 1642 1688

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