I was watching the news and they mentioned the cycle races being held in Manchester as part of the Commonwealth Games. They referred to the stadium where the races take place as a velodrome. It struck me that this is an odd word. It comes from the French vélodrome which is a blend of velocipede plus drome, from the Latin dromus, a race track.
A velocipede is, of course, an early form of bicycle, which was propelled along by the riders feet either pushing against the ground, or by turning a crank attached to the front wheel. The word comes from the Latin velox, -ocis, swift + pes, pedis, a foot.
It strikes me as odd that the modern word for a cycle race track contains a reference to a mode of transport that was replaced more than a century ago. Comment, explanations, anyone?
I believe we could wax tiresome about the alternatives. But 'velodrome' seems to fit into a category of words without enough of a constituency to do much morphing. I've only been to one velodrome (to its intended site, actually) and it gained the unflattering nickname of (ready?) the VD. The word itself is similar in sound to what is supposed (to we provincials) to be the most pleasant-sounding expression in the language: 'cellar door'. All the more raison to keep it, n'est-ce-pas?
Well, Arnie, I tried, and I am still trying. I went to Google, with not much luck, because they just listed Velodromes. So--I went to an etymology site and received a reply that was similar to your post:
"velo" in a french reduction of "velocipede" one of the first name of bicycle, "velo" derives from latin "velox" that means "rapid or fast" and than about "drome" that derives from greek "dromos" that means "race".
And, Welcome hedge49!
[This message was edited by Kalleh on Sat Aug 3rd, 2002 at 23:55.]
There are so few velodromes left in the world that the few adherents to track racing probably don't worry about the name sounding odd to outsiders. Also, we still occasionally hear the term, "hippodrome" in reference to a circus act, so it's not THAT foreign - at least to my ears. But then, I'm a bicycle lover, and live in a city with a velodrome.
While on vacation in July, my husband and I visited the Motorcycle Heritage Museum in Ohio. They have a portion of the wood from the floor of a Velodrome, with an antique motorcycle perched upon it, to show the angle at which one of these riders would be during the race. Quite interesting, and quite scary!
They have a portion of the wood from the floor of a Velodrome, with an antique motorcycle perched upon it, to show the angle at which one of these riders would be during the race. Quite interesting, and quite scary
Shortly after the advent of the motorcycle the sport of motor-pacing was invented. Bicycles would draft behind a motorcycle on a velodrome, some reaching very high speeds, thanks partly to the steeply banked track. An earlier drafting activity behind a railroad locomotive won the title, "Mile-a-Minute Murphy for an Irish immigrant in the USA. Later, a very brave, or insane, or both- man named John Howard paced a race car to over 140 mph on the Bonneville salt flats.
Besides being a reference to a circus act, 'hippodrome' also means racecourse for horses. From hippos = horse and dromos= road or race. In fact, a racecourse is still called 'hippodromos' in Greek.
Oh! and something else! The French still call a bicycle a 'velo'. So why not borrow this into English seeing that we have so many other French > Latin > Greek words in the English language?
Aha! That would explain it! Velodrome comes from the French, of course. I'd already checked a French dictionary on line but forgotten the acute accent over the e (the word in French is vélo) so I got no sensible response.
quote:[chortle] Please see the poll I am posting in this thread.
I received the following additional reply from the etymology site from which I sought help on this:
> Let us pedal a little ...
> In french, "Velo" of the Latin "velux", is not an archaism of the last century.
> Since the word "velocipède" was given to it, "velo", in french, always
> remained the familiar diminutive which names this attractive and
> playful machine.
> So, it was logical to take word "velo" as prefix of "velodrome" to name
> the stadium for "velos" racing, as in "hippodrome" that
> is the name of stadium for "hippo" racing (I'm sure you know that "hippo"
> is the greek root for horses).
> The word "bicyclette" (for little bicycle) is very used too, but
> rather in a literary way.
> I have nothing about this adversary of cyclists ... the dog. Nothing but
> that a "cynodrom" is the stadium where greyhounds ... sorry, you surely know it.
wasn't there a really violent french movie called velodrome, with lots of dangerous racing, killing and smoking? everyone with dark circles under their eyes saying things like "i have lost my illusion" and someone replying "i will kill you for saying that, mon ami." the end is something like an extreme closeup of jean paul belmondo saying "all is nothing".. P
"wasn't there a really violent french movie called velodrome, with lots of dangerous racing, killing and smoking?"
Don't know about the movie, Wildflowerchild, but I'll heartily agree that killing and smoking are dangerous!
And thank you, Asa, for not pointing out the dangers of riding a motorcycle. I am an avid motorcyclist myself, and have heard all the nicnames...especially "donorcycle". There are bad and good motorcyclists, just like there are bad and good motorists. Just being a motorcycle rider, does not make you dangerous.
[off my soapbox]
however, wiping out in a bikini is a job for the burn unit. ¨
"however, wiping out in a bikini is a job for the burn unit."
Owwwww! Can you spell, "L-E-A-T-H-E-R?" My younger son's hide was saved a few years ago when he was hit by an immense PEDESTRIAN! A mentally disturbed four-hundred pound woman dashed across a very busy road and collided with his motorcycle. He was sent flying, his bike was a mess, but he suffered no injuries, save those to his pride when he reported it to his insurance company! There was a cop right behind my son who witnessed the whole thing, and cited the woman for jaywalking, once he quit crying with laughter.
I remembered from French lessons at school that they used "bicyclette", but I didn't know, or forgot, about "vélo". Since the French use "vélo" it makes sense that they call the stadium a "vélodrome".
Why "vélo" in "velodrom" rather than "cyclodrom", "bicyclodrom", "trottinodrom", ...
Because like said Kalleh "vélo" in french is the most familiar and usual name for bicycle, from kids to granies ... and because frenchies are (try to be) sometimes musicians, let's notice how "vélodrome" sounds well, like "hippodrome", "cynodrome", "palindrome",...
Do you know what is the french acronym for "montain bike" ... it's V.T.T. for "Vélo Tout Terrain" (literaly : All Land Velo").
It is not at all an archaic machine, even if it is no more in vogue as in 90's, but my favourite steel and rubber hourse for alpin ballads.
If you are a "vélo" and word lover,
you will enjoy this url :
If you can read french a little, click on :
http://www.velovert.com/ the best french VTT magazine
and let's take a rendez-vous in Paris (bring your bike) :
Ahrr sh.. !!#@* Have a patch Arnie ?
Think I'm flat ...
Next time I'll go to boulodrom.
Hello safi! The broadest and warmest of welcomes to you!
A search for "vélodrome" at The Internet Movie Database brings up only an 1897 Belgian documentary called Le Vélodrome de la Cambre. I also looked up Jean-Paul Belmondo's films and could see nothing with a similar title.
I recommend that site highly I you want to find anything related to films.
DO I MAKE YOU GOOGLY BABY? WELL DO I?
thanks for the imb link. cool.
velodrome: i am an architect, so i'm a vellum drone. i had a dream last night that i was in the movie Ronin and i was racing around in the arles velodrome. you should see that. and i was a vellum drone at the same time.m
Erm... Please define "googly".
Hey! You do have a shift key!
"I'm a vellum drone," says wfc.
Asa, if I recall correctly, is smoothly bald-headed, which would make him a vellum dome.
i have a shift key but it doesn't fit into my shift. baby. ˇ
Ummmmm...arnie? I think that means...she likes you!