cabby

   Oliver’s Story, by Erich Segal, has the following exchange: ‘“What are you, buddy,” said the cabby, “an amnesiac?” “What are you, cabby,” I retorted, “Woody Allen?”’ A British example of ‘cabby’ used to a taxi-driver occurs in Thursday Afternoons, by Monica Dickens.
   ‘Cabby’ came into use in the mid-nineteenth century, an abbreviation of cabman. ‘Drive to the ‘ouse with the yellow door, cabmin,’ says a pretentious lady in The Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens. Dickens also describes the vehicle in which the lady is travelling in all its Victorian splendour as a ‘hackney-cabriolet’. It was hardly surprising that the French word cabriolet was quickly shortened to ‘cab’ by the general public. The French had named the carriage concerned, a light two-wheeled vehicle drawn by one horse, and with a leather or wooden hood, because of its bounding motion. Cabriolet was a derivative of cabriole or capriole, which meant a leap or bound, as that of a goat (Latin caper). To return to the subject of modern cabbies, they are in fact more likely to be addressed as ‘driver’ than ‘cabby’, though the latter word is used in thirdperson reference. The vocative usage in J.P. Donleavy’s A Fairy Tale of New York is unusual. A woman in the story says: ‘Go home you crazy cab-driver.’

A dictionary of epithets and terms of address . . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cabby — (also cabbie) ► NOUN (pl. cabbies) informal ▪ a taxi driver …   English terms dictionary

  • cabby — cabbie UK [ˈkæbɪ] / US or cabby UK / US noun [countable] Word forms cabbie : singular cabbie plural cabbies informal a taxi driver …   English dictionary

  • cabby — noun see cabbie …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cabby — /kab ee/, n., pl. cabbies. Informal. a cabdriver. Also, cabbie. [1855 60; CAB(DRIVER) + Y2] * * * …   Universalium

  • cabby — noun /ˈkæb.i/ a cabdriver, someone who drives a taxi …   Wiktionary

  • cabby — see cabbie …   English dictionary

  • cabby — cab·by || kæbɪ n. cabdriver, taxi driver …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cabby — (also cabbie) noun (plural cabbies) informal a taxi driver …   English new terms dictionary

  • cabby — cab·by …   English syllables

  • cabby — [ˈkæbi] noun [C] informal a taxi driver …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

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