Gregory {Greg} Downing gd2 at NYU.EDU
Thu Mar 8 17:04:42 UTC 2001

At 11:11 AM 3/8/2001 -0500, Duane Campbell <dcamp911 at JUNO.COM> wrote:
>The following query from a friend in GB. I was not aware that "sedan" was
>exclusively US usage. My dictionaries give "origin unknown," but that
>seems to refer to the word itself. OED gives no usage as an enclosed

You may have missed something -- see OED2 sedan meaning 1c, which says the
equivalent UK term is saloon, meaning 4c (first cite, 1908). The first cite
for OED sedan, meaning 1c ( = a kind of automobile), dated 1912, gives the
word capitalized and in quotes, indicating it was still new at that time and
may have been a kind of brand name when first applied to automobiles. Not a
few early auotmobile-related terms -- including `car' itself, whose primary
sense these days *is* probably `auotmobile' -- appear to have been adapted
from terms used in connection with earlier vehicles, sometimes terms that,
like sedan, had been used for pre-automobile vehicles viewed as upscale.

Greg Downing, at greg.downing at or gd2 at

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