1 : a small bus that carries passengers over a regular route on a flexible schedule
2 : an unlicensed taxicab
Did You Know?
Jitneys weren't worth a dime -- just a nickel. In the early 1900s, "jitney" was slang for "nickel," but it wasn't long before the term was applied to a new mode of public transportation that only cost a nickel. When they were introduced in American cities at the beginning of the century, vehicular jitneys could be any automobiles that carried passengers over a set route for a cheap fare, but eventually the term was applied specifically to small buses. In the mid-1900s, the word "jitney" was combined with "jeep" to create a new coinage: "jeepney," meaning "a Philippine jitney bus converted from a jeep."
After doing some shopping along the boardwalk, we boarded a jitney whose route took us back to our hotel.
"There is a certain kind of socialite who spends her summers in the Hamptons: perhaps the daughter of a Manhattan real estate millionaire or media magnate; maybe an intern at Vogue or Sotheby's who takes the jitney on Fridays to her parents' estate on Further Lane." -- From an article by Laura M. Holson in The New York Times, June 9, 2011
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