One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A horse or pony of a light breed with a high-stepping trot, used in harness.
- ‘As the hackney rolled forth the meaning of Caroline's answer registered in Charlotte's mind.’
- ‘You'd feel for all the other taxi drivers and hackneys, particularly those working at night.’
- ‘Over the same period, the number of hackneys has fallen from more than 3,650 to less than 1,260.’
- ‘He said the only problem taxi drivers had with the proposed new code was the proposal that all taxis, hackneys and limousines be fitted with a front passenger swivel seat to facilitate entry and exit for people with reduced mobility.’
- ‘People in the country should get hackneys or taxis or even better, use a designated driver.’
- 1.1usually as modifier A horse-drawn vehicle kept for hire.‘a hackney coach’
wagon, hansom, gig, landau, trap, caravan, carView synonyms
- ‘Private hire cabbies have united with hackney drivers as they prepare for battle over bus lanes.’
- ‘He said 87 objections were received from private hire employees, but none from hackney drivers.’
- ‘Taxi licensing is dealt with by local authorities and Ribble Valley Council currently has 26 operators, 66 private hire vehicles, 49 hackney cabs and 81 drivers on its books.’
- ‘One means was, of course, new taxation, which was imposed on salt, stamps, hackney coaches, and, especially, on land.’
- ‘And three-quarters of private hire taxis and 55 per cent of hackney cabs stopped for roadside checks were discovered to have faults.’
Middle English: probably from Hackney in East London, where horses were pastured. The term originally denoted an ordinary riding horse (as opposed to a war horse or draught horse), especially one available for hire: hence hackney carriage or coach, and the archaic verb hackney meaning ‘use (a horse) for ordinary riding’, later ‘make commonplace by overuse’ (see hackneyed).
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