Saturday, August 20, 2011

transport etymology 15 - car

The same etymology is involved for carriage, cart, caravan and chariot.  A car is a four wheel road vehicle propelled by its own engine.  In America it became short for carriage as used on railways.

The English words are all from French and in turn from Latin carrum and carrus.  In Old Norman French carre meant a wheeled vehicle, carter meant to carry.  One source says Latin carrum and carrus are of Celtic origin.  The Persian word karwan could be from the Latin too.

In French char means a cart or wagon, also a military tank.  The word cargo is from Spanish, from the same origin as French charger.

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