type of large, four-wheeled carriage, 1801, from dialectal German barutsche, from Italian baroccio "chariot," originally "two-wheeled car," from Latin birotus "two-wheeled," from bi- "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two") + rotus "wheel," from rotare "go around" (see rotary). Frenchified in English, but the word is not French.
The half-top, for morning and evening drives, is much liked: the top being thrown down, the carriage presents an elegant appearance, and affords an opportunity for the display of full dress—hence it is popular with visitors at watering places and public parks. [Henry William Herbert ("Frank Forester"), "Hints to Horse-Keepers," New York, 1859]
updated on August 19, 2020