By Allan Fuller
October's Quiz Question was:
The word 'bus' is a clipped form of which Latin word?
THE EARLIEST known use of public transport within towns occurred in Nantes in western France in 1827. It was the idea of the enterprising Monsieur Omnes, who coined the name Omnibus as a pun, to indicate both the purpose and the name of the instigator of this service.
Since, in Latin, omnibus is the plural form of both the dative and ablative cases of the word omnes (all), omnibus originally meant either 'for everybody' (dative) or 'by Omnes' (ablative). Later, the word was taken into English, and eventually abbreviated to 'bus' in both languages, though in French it first passed through the modification 'autobus' with the invention of the internal combustion engine.
Incidentally, the word 'omnibus' is still used in modern French in a transport context, but it now designates a train which stops at all stations.
Congratulations to Lynne Maunder, whose name was picked out of the hat to win October's Quiz - please email email@example.com to arrange the means of receiving your bottle of champagne!