Joe Pickett Joe_Pickett at HMCO.COM
Mon Dec 11 17:06:19 UTC 2000

I think the "people mover" car or truck has various names in various
English speaking countries.

I know in Kenya that call it a matutu. I'd heard that some people in the
NYC area also call it this because so many drivers are from Africa. I have
no confirmation of this, however.

In Liberia they call it a moneybus (even though it's usually a pick-up

There are probably many other names.

Joe Pickett

James Smith <jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM>@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on 12/11/2000
11:51:48 AM

Please respond to American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>

Sent by:  American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>

Subject:  Re: jitney

The only use of "jitney" with which I am familiar is
for cars, vans, and small trucks used in unregulated,
free-market mass transport in places such as Africa,
the Phillipines, and Mexico and Central America

--- Drew Danielson <drew.danielson at CMU.EDU> wrote:
> OK, first let me acknowledge that my grammar tanked
> in my last message.
> I hereby "grammar-flame" myself.
> I did some reading on the word "jitney" yesterday.
> From what I was able
> to dig up on the Internet, it generally refers to
> independently-owned or
> private vans or small buses that usually follow a
> fixed route.  But
> sites that describe a "jitney" in Pittsburgh
> consistently refer to
> independently-owned, for-hire cars (with drivers).
> In an informal
> interview with a Pittsburgher at the gas station
> where I bought some
> cigarettes last night the gentleman stated,
> "Pittsburgh's cornered the
> market on jitneys."
> I wasn't able to find this definition in connection
> to other cities
> (searching on google.com for "jitney" "[name of
> city]").  The Victoria
> Transport Policy Institute defines "jitney" thusly,
> "[j]itney services
> use vans or small buses to provide self-financing,
> privately operated
> transit service."  In this case, it's used as a
> technical term for a
> type of shuttle service.
> Note:  In my searching, I found that there's a play
> by August Wilson
> about a Pittsburgh jitney driver currently playing
> on Broadway (it's
> called: "Jitney").

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
SLC, UT                        |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at yahoo.com     |whether we act quickly and decisively
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

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