Word Origin & History
1902, "enclosed automobile with open driver's seat," from Fr. limousine, from Limousin, region in central France, originally an adj. referring to its chief city, Limoges, from L. Lemovices, name of a people who lived near there, perhaps named in ref. to their elm spears or bows. The Latin adjective form
of the name, Lemovicinus, is the source of Fr. Limousin. Modern automobile meaning evolved from perceived similarity of the car's profile to a type of hood worn by the inhabitants of that province. Since 1930s, synonymous in Amer.Eng. with "luxury car;" applied from 1972 to vehicles that take people to and from large airports. Limousine liberal first attested 1969.