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John,
   You are right to suspect that the use of the term 'fiacre' for a cab is
derived from a place-name. It is named after the Hotel St-Fiacre in Paris
which was a prominent landmark close to the rue St-Martin, the first place
to make coaches for hire. This was in the seventeenth century.
                         Martin Howley,
                         Humanities Librarian
                         Memorial University of Newfoundland

On Thu, 5 Sep 1996, John Carmi Parsons wrote:

> Regarding the feast of St Fiacre--the French word "fiacre" came to refer (by 
> the 18th century anyway) to a type of carriage that was often run for hire 
> in Paris.  This might well explain the taxi driver connection.   Given the 
> Gallic proclivity for naming objects for a pseudo-place of origin (e.g., any 
> dish of food conspicuously containing carrots is properly called "a la Crecy" 
> because Crecy is as well-known for its carrots as for Edward III's victory), 
> it's possible that this type of carriage originated, or was manufactured, at 
> St-Fiacre-en-Brie.  
> 	Nailing this down would naturally take some research though.  Are 
> there any details in Fiacre's vita or legend (with which I am utterly 
> unfamiliar) that would possibly connect with a journey by cart or carriage?
> 	John Parsons
> 


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