The Origins of Car

A car is simply a wheeled moving vehicle used for transport. Most modern definitions of automobiles state that they are motor vehicles used for travel, seat between two to eight people, carry goods, and usually move mostly items and not people. But more people know about cars as vehicles that allow an individual to go about their daily business without having to worry too much on how to get where they are going. Cars may transport goods or people; but both are equally important to the individual who owns the car.

The history of the first car dates back to about ten thousand years ago. During this time period, people were using wood as a material for making tools for use in the construction industry and the car was just another tool in the list of things being created. Wood was easy to work with; therefore, carpenters would build simple carports or “trucks” out of wood. Trucks were also used to transport goods to far off places.

The car of today is made from different materials depending on the purpose it is to serve. One of the earliest forms of the automobile was the horse drawn car. People would use these for traveling on farms. But with the advancement of technology, even this became obsolete as the internal combustion engine became more advanced. People’s need for more practical transportation developed which led to the development of the horse drawn wagon or cart.

When the etymology for the word “car” is analyzed it states that it means “a wheeled vehicle”, so naturally, the car was developed to be used as a vehicle that could be wheeled. This evolution of the automobile caused people to use “car” as a slang form of “carriage” instead of the more specific term of “wheeled vehicle”. This evolution in etymology also influenced other terms such as “car”, “obile” and “auto-cycle” in North America. Today, the word “car” refers only to automobiles, whereas the etymology for “car” has given us phrases like “being driven” or “operated by human beings”. Although the meaning of the term “car” in the English language is now solely associated with automobiles, the history of the word has roots that go far back into the past.

“Cars” in the English language are derived from Latin with the root “car” meaning wheel. As a result, the literal meaning of the word is “a wheel fixed to wheels”. It was not a great leap forward from there. In fact, the word “car” came from another language and evolved to mean “driven”. Thus, the etymology for “car” being “driven” shows that its meaning has been around for a long time and it was not a big innovation by the dawn of the automobile.

One of the words that begin with “car” is “char”, from Latin with the root “car” meaning ox. It is probable that the origin of “char” came from oxen. The noun “char” today is usually used to refer to the vehicle. But the etymology for “char” being “drawn car” may suggest that we may be dealing with a different kind of automobile. We see this etymology from the use of the verb “to draw” in the imperative form “draw oneself”.

Another etymology for the word “car” being “wagon” shows that perhaps we are dealing with a type of cart. From the verb “to draw” we can derive “car wagons” which is an archaic term that no longer applies. But the etymology for “car” meaning “a cart drawn by horses” points to the utility of wagons in the day-to-day life of man. We have come to regard a wagon as nothing more than an elaborate automobile that has been designed for carrying people and their products from one place to another.

Another etymology for the word “car” being a “vehicle” is more appropriate for our current usage of the word. A chariot is an instance of a Roman chariot, which is a four-wheeled vehicle having a single wheel in front and two wheels in the rear, usually seated on a wooden planking base. A chariot racing game was a very popular sport at the time of the Roman Empire, and chariot races were often won by individuals riding on magic carpets pulled by four horses.