Entries linking to cable-car
c. 1200, "large, strong rope or chain used on a ship," from Old North French cable, from Medieval Latin capulum "lasso, rope, halter for cattle," from Latin capere "to take, seize," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp."
Technically, in nautical use, a rope 10 or more inches around, to hold the ship when at anchor; in non-nautical use, a rope of wire (not hemp or fiber). It was given a new range of senses in 19c. in telegraphy (1850s), traction-railroads (1880s), etc. The meaning "message received by telegraphic cable" is from 1883, short for cable message (1870), cablegram (1868), cable dispatch (1864). Cable television is attested by 1963; shortened form cable in this sense is from 1970.
Speed, speed the Cable; let it run,
A loving girdle round the earth,
Till all the nations 'neath the sun
Shall be as brothers at one hearth;
[T. Buchanan Read, "The Cable," 1858]
c. 1300, "wheeled vehicle," from Anglo-French carre, Old North French carre, from Vulgar Latin *carra, related to Latin carrum, carrus (plural carra), originally "two-wheeled Celtic war chariot," from Gaulish karros, a Celtic word (compare Old Irish and Welsh carr "cart, wagon," Breton karr "chariot"), from PIE *krsos, from root *kers- "to run." The Celtic-Latin word also made it into Greek, as karron "wagon with four wheels."
"From 16th to 19th c. chiefly poetic, with associations of dignity, solemnity, or splendour ..." [OED]. Used in U.S. by 1826 of railway freight carriages and of passenger coaches on a railway by 1830; by 1862 of streetcars or tramway cars. The extension to "automobile" is by 1896, but between 1831 to the first decade of 20c. the cars meant "railroad train." Car bomb is attested from 1972, in a Northern Ireland context. The Latin word also is the source of Italian and Spanish carro, French char.
updated on October 10, 2017