In my native language for "bicycle" we use word "rower", that is not self-descriptive. It comes from UK company name "Rover".

Are there some examples in other languages when the etymology for local word for "bicycle" is different than etymology of word "bicycle"?

Edit: more detail about "rower" etymology. Saying, that "rower" comes from "Rover" is small simplification. Both words have common ancestor in the name of the company product, "Rover Safety Bicycle". Rover was treated as proper name, otherwise it would be translated to polish equivalent of german "Wanderer".

Citation from wikipedia: "In 1885 John Starley made history when he produced the Rover Safety Bicycle".

Citation from comment in national dictionary by respectable linguist and lexicographer: "Word 'rowerzysta' (pl. cyclist) (...), comes of course from word "rower", and indirectly from the name of british company „Rover”."

Citation from local bicycle advocatory group's page from Toruń: "Because bicycles produced by Starley and Satton company become popular in Poland, its name become polonified and that's why we had rower "

  • Starving horse. Feb 7 '17 at 17:29
  • What evidence can you cite that Polish rower derives from English Rover?
    – andy256
    Feb 9 '17 at 0:02
  • @andy256 edited & provided links
    – krzyski
    Feb 9 '17 at 8:22

Finnish: Polkupyörä ("treading wheel") or pyörä ("wheel") for short.

To disambiguate, and to endless confusion to non-hobbyists, the jargon term for wheel is kiekko ("disc"). Disc wheels are of course known as plate wheels or plate discs.


Spanish: "bicicleta", or "bici" for short.

Other spanish terms related to cycling:



  • Thank you for your contribution. Would you mind also defining Ciclismo and Rodear? Use the "edit" link to expand your answer.
    – Criggie
    Feb 8 '17 at 2:23

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