|Photo by Jimmy B|
Noun. Mid-19th century.
[from DASH verb + BOARD noun.]
1(a) A board of wood or leather in the front of a carriage to keep out mud. M19
1(b) A panel beneath the wind-screen of a motor vehicle, in an aircraft, etc., containing instruments and controls. E20
2 ARCHITECTURE. A sloping board to carry off rainwater from the face of a wall. L19
As a child, I always assumed that a dashboard was so called because it houses the speedometer. But no, a dashboard has nothing to do with dashing of the celeritous variety (and regardless of how dashing you think you look when you're driving, it has nothing to do with that either). Rather, the word dashboard is simply a relic from the days of the horse and carriage, when a dashboard was a wooden or leather board in front of the driver to prevent him from being dashed with mud. So there you go. Now who said cars are boring?
|A hand-drawn horse-drawn carriage|
Photo from Wikimedia
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