"covered wagon", 1754, and not the American West

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jul 7 14:20:43 UTC 2008

At 10:24 PM -0400 7/6/08, Wilson Gray wrote:
>"Machine" for "automobile" is still hip in BE slang, as well as
>"'chine," also used as a verb meaning, roughly, "drive like a maniac."

I'm sure "machine" is the usual colloquial term for 'car' in many
languages and vernaculars, including Italian (macchina).


>On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 12:25 PM, Arnold M. Zwicky
><zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>>  Subject:      Re: "covered wagon", 1754, and not the American West
>>  On Jul 6, 2008, at 8:39 AM, David Donnell wrote:
>  >> FWIW, "machine", or something that sounds like it, is the Persian
>>>  word I know for car/automobile...
>>>  (Not sure how off-topic that is. At least it's a similar sense of the
>>>  word "machine".)
>>  OED has the 'automobile' sense (III.5.h), marked as originally and
>>  chiefly U.S.  it probably should be marked as now longer current.
>>  (the most recent cite is someone quoting his grandfather's usage, and
>>  the one before that has "machines" in a sense wide enough to take in
>>  tractors.  before that, it's Dashiell Hammett in 1929.)
>>  my pennsylvania dutch grandmother had this usage, back in the 40s and
>>  50s.
>>  arnold
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