One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An obsolete kind of signalling device on the side of a motor vehicle, having the form of a small illuminated pointer which could be extended to indicate a change of direction.
- ‘The semaphore arms, or trafficators, disappeared as the new winkers were gradually fitted to the fleet.’
- ‘Air vents in dash board and trafficator on steering column distinguish interior from earlier model.’
- ‘Nowadays many early cars have had their old trafficators removed and replaced with more modern indicators.’
- ‘The semaphore trafficators will be fitted to show how signals were given from pre-war days up to the 1950's.’
- ‘But trafficators were so fragile that they easily broke off and had a tendency to stick to the closed position.’
1930s: blend of traffic and indicator.
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