The word is attested in Latin from as early as 1156, considerably earlier than in Middle English (1405) or Anglo-Norman (1279-80). OED (Third Edition 2006), MED and DMLBS agree on the definition of ‘payment for the right to break ground to erect market stalls’, and associate this word with pic1– the tool used for breaking up the ground. However, a form like pychage, together with the implied sense of erecting market stalls, suggests perhaps a different origin and association with the verb piccher, i.e. ‘to pitch’ (cf. OED pitching n.1, sense 3: the setting up of a market stall [...] Also: a payment or toll for pitching in a market’). The conclusion is that there may have been two different lexemes – one related to the using of a pickaxe for breaking the ground, and the other related to the action of setting up or pitching –, but their overlapping senses and etymologies make it difficult to treat them as two different entries.