Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[hand-kahr] /ˈhændˌkɑr/
a small railroad car or platform on four wheels propelled by a mechanism worked by hand, used on some railroads for inspecting tracks and transporting workers.
Origin of handcar
An Americanism dating back to 1840-50; hand + car1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for hand-car
Historical Examples
  • This was like putting two locomotives ahead of each other to draw a hand-car.

  • They knew that it would be impossible to make the necessary speed with a hand-car.

    Chasing an Iron Horse Edward Robins
  • The hand-car was lifted to the track, beyond the telegraph pole, and the journey was resumed.

    Chasing an Iron Horse Edward Robins
  • In a moment the hand-car was off, the men pumping for dear life.

    The Mystic Mid-Region Arthur J. Burdick
  • Lighting his pipe, he took his seat on the hand-car and knitted his brows as two colored laborers drove him down the hill.

    Brandon of the Engineers Harold Bindloss
  • Before they had gone a half mile they found a hand-car on a siding.

  • He pointed to some workmen who had a hand-car near the track, not far above him.

    Chasing an Iron Horse Edward Robins
  • Their hand-car, which was also uninjured, was lifted on the track and driven on again.

    Capturing a Locomotive William Pittenger
  • Wilson and Wood were put on a hand-car and run back to Bridgeport.

    Capturing a Locomotive William Pittenger
  • They were brought on a hand-car, and I noticed, when I started away, that the car was left there on the track.

Word Origin and History for hand-car

1846 in railroading sense, from hand (n.) + car.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for handcar

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hand

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for hand-car