from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. See automobile.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. an enclosed passenger vehicle powered by an engine.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a motor vehicle with four wheels; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine
Sorry, no etymologies found.
At the beginning of the nine year reign of Edward VII, the motorcar was a status symbol that only the very rich could afford to purchase and maintain, as the horse, generally cheaper and familiar to the population, continued its domination of everyday travel and transport.
Tibetans called the telegraph tar from the Hindi for wire, a motorcar was a mota or gari, from gaadi, flashlights were known as bijili after the Hindi word for electricity, and the postal service was called dak.
Her description of the film actually comes out of Weinberg, complete with the mistake of identifying the lead as an "eighteenth-century czarina" and the same false claims for the anachronisms of bobbed hair and a "motorcar" (Weinberg's word as well as Koenig's, p. 76 in Weinberg).
I didn't for a second question "motorcar" as a perfectly legitimate word for "car," but she's the only person I've ever heard actually refer to an automobile as a motorcar.
Some may think that "motorcar" is common in England, but I've never heard it over there.
Many newspapers, periodicals and fiction of the day detailed the accidents and almost-accidents which befell early motorists, such as when Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish, upon taking her new motorcar for a trial run, accidentally drove backwards and knocked over a passing man, and then proceeded to drive over him twice more before he got away and she got out of the car.
Once the novice acquainted themselves with the layout of the motorcar, they were ready to drive:
She wants him to pilot the journey, hunched forward in the motorcar.
"If we didn't get more tonnes into the system, your next motorcar is going to cost more because the aluminum cost is going to be higher."
And she in the motorcar, watching, saw the pair cross Market Street, cross the Slot, and disappear down Third Street into the labor ghetto.