tin Lizzie

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

tin Lizzie (plural tin Lizzies)

  1. (informal, dated) Nickname of the Ford Motor Company's Model T automobile.
    • 1917, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Oakdale Affair, ch. 6:
      Fate, in the guise of a rural free delivery carrier and a Ford, passed by the front gate. . . . "I don' see why he don't carry a whip," mused Jeb Case. "A-gidappin' to that there tin lizzie," he muttered disgustedly, "jes' like it was as good as a hoss."
    • 1947 April 21, "Michigan: Detroit Dynast," Time:
      The Model T became a legend. . . . The Tin Lizzie rattled and banged across the country.
  2. (informal, by extension) A small, unpretentious, vintage automobile, especially one that is in run-down condition.
    • 1921, Booth Tarkington, Alice Adams, ch. 6:
      "It's a ottomobile. . . . It's a second-hand tin Lizzie," said Walter. "D'you know what that means? It means a flivver."
    • 2003, Thomas Rendell Curran, Undertow, ISBN 9781550811933, p. 160:
      "The car he was driving was a shit-box, a real Tin Lizzie, older than Christ."

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