Ever seen a picture of a farm girl carrying two buckets of water hanging from ropes attached to a stick she's balancing across her shoulders? That stick on her shoulders is a yoke.
Yoke also can mean the stick that connects two work animals together, or the act of connecting two things together as with a yoke. A classic tool of farmers for centuries, the yoke has also become a symbol of oppression — no one wants to live under the yoke of a tyrant's rule. Do not confuse yoke with yolk, the yellow part of an egg.