Decrepit car


Decrepit car
A typical decrepit car

A decrepit car is an old, dilapidated and often rusty and dysfunctional car. Such a vehicle is not a well kept antique car, but a car which is mostly rundown or damaged. Such a vehicle is often known as a banger (British English), clunker or old rust bucket (British and American English) or jalopy, hooptie or beater (American English).

When an old banger gets to a state in which its maintenance becomes too expensive, its owner can be required to make a decision about its fate. Some owners abandon it on the road as a parked car (an action forbidden by law in most jurisdictions).[1] If it remains parked, homeless people may sleep in it or the local authority commonly tows it to the scrap yard.[2] Other people may then sell it (or deliver it) to be stripped for spare parts for use in other vehicles.

During the 1930s, the market for used cars first started to grow, and decrepit cars were often a poor man's form of transport. Cheap dealers could obtain the cars for very little, make aesthetic adjustments, and sell the car for much more. Early hot rodders also purchased bangers as the basis for racers, and early stock car racing was called banger racing in the United Kingdom and "jalopy racing" in the United States.

Contents

Banger

In the United Kingdom, and most Commonwealth countries, "banger" is the favoured term for old decrepit cars. The origin of the word is unknown, but could refer to the noises old cars sometimes make, such as loud bangs and splutters – a reference to older poorly maintained vehicles' tendency to back-fire.

Jalopy

In the United States, the archaic word for a decrepit car is jalopy. The term was used extensively in the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac, first published in 1957, although written from 1947. It is possible that the non Spanish-speaking New Orleans-based longshoremen, referring to scrapped autos destined for Jalapa, Mexico scrapyards, pronounced the destination on the palettes "jalopies" rather than multiples or possessive of Jalapa. A 1929 definition reads as follows: "Jaloppi--A cheap make of automobile; an automobile fit only for junking."[3] The definition has stayed the same, but it took a while for the spelling to standardize. Among the variants have been jallopy, jaloppy, jollopy, jaloopy, jalupie, julappi, jalapa, and jaloppie.

Popular culture

The BBC children's television series called Brum features an old banger as the main character.

See also

References

External links

How to Get Rid of an Old Car - WikiHow article on getting rid of a decrepit car


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • décrépit — décrépit, ite (dé kré pi, pi t ) adj. Qui est dans la décrépitude. Vieillard décrépit. Vieillesse décrépite. •   Un lion décrépit, goutteux, n en pouvant plus, Voulait que l on trouvât remède à la vieillesse, LA FONT. Fabl. VIII, 3. •   Les… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • side|car — «SYD KAHR», noun. 1. a car for a passenger or baggage, attached to the side of a motorcycle: »Mercury…bought an aged and decrepit motorcycle, with a sidecar (New Yorker). 2. U.S. a cocktail made with an orange flavored liqueur, brandy, and lemon… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Jalopy — For other uses, see Jalopy (disambiguation). A Jalopy Ford Festiva A jalopy (also clunker or hooptie or beater) is a decrepit car, often old and in a barely functional state. A jalopy is not a well kept antique car, but a car which is mostly… …   Wikipedia

  • Banger — A banger can be a: *A sausage, usually pork and of a lower quality, with a tendency to split open with a bang during frying. See also bangers and mash *A firecracker (British English) or explosive firework designed to make noise *An old or… …   Wikipedia

  • tin Lizzie — noun N. Amer. informal an old or decrepit car. Origin early 20th cent. (orig. a nickname for an early Ford): Lizzie, a familiar form of the given name Elizabeth …   English new terms dictionary

  • tin — n. & v. n. 1 Chem. a silvery white malleable metallic element resisting corrosion, occurring naturally in cassiterite and other ores, and used esp. in alloys and for plating thin iron or steel sheets to form tin plate. Usage: Symb.: Sn. 2 a a… …   Useful english dictionary

  • old crock —  Decrepit thing (usu. very old car). Decrepit person …   A concise dictionary of English slang

  • List of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre characters — The list of members of the Hewitt/Sawyer family Contents 1 The Sawyer/Hewitt family 1.1 Chop Top Sawyer 1.2 Drayton Sawyer 1.3 Grandpa Sawyer …   Wikipedia

  • Characters of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre — The following are fictional characters in the American horror The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.The Sawyer familyThe Sawyers (renamed the Hewitts in the remake and its prequel) are a family of cannibals in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre… …   Wikipedia

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium