phaeton (n.)

type of light four-wheeled carriage, 1742, from French (1735), from Greek Phaethon name of the son of Helios and Clymene, who tried to drive his father's sun-chariot but crashed after almost setting fire to the whole earth. His name is literally "shining," from phaein "to shine, gleam," from phaos "light" (from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine"). Earlier as a name for a reckless driver (1590s).

Share