from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A metal or wooden plate bolted to the sides of two abutting rails or beams, used especially in the laying of railroad track.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A metal bar that is bolted to the ends of two rails to join them together in a track.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. metal plate bolted along sides of two rails or beams
Probably from French fiche, peg (from Old French; see microfiche) + plate.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
fish + plate. See fish ("curved wooden bar used to strengthen a ship's mast"). (Wiktionary)