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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Hackney \Hack"ney\ (-n[y^]), n.; pl. Hackneys (-n[i^]z). [OE. hakeney, hakenay; cf. F. haguen['e]e a pacing horse, an ambling nag, OF. also haquen['e]e, Sp. hacanea, OSp. facanea, D. hakkenei, also OF. haque horse, Sp. haca, OSp. faca; perh. akin to E. hack to cut, and nag, and orig. meaning, a jolting horse. Cf. Hack a horse, Nag.]

  1. A horse for riding or driving; a nag; a pony.

  2. A horse or pony kept for hire.

  3. A carriage kept for hire; a hack; a hackney coach.

  4. A hired drudge; a hireling; a prostitute.


Hackney \Hack"ney\, a. Let out for hire; devoted to common use; hence, much used; trite; mean; as, hackney coaches; hackney authors. ``Hackney tongue.''


Hackney \Hack"ney\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Hackneyed (-n[i^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. Hackneying.]

  1. To devote to common or frequent use, as a horse or carriage; to wear out in common service; to make trite or commonplace; as, a hackneyed metaphor or quotation.

    Had I so lavish of my presence been, So common-hackneyed in the eyes of men.

  2. To carry in a hackney coach.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 12c., from Old English Hacan ieg "Haca's Isle" (or possibly "Hook Island"), the "isle" element here meaning dry land in a marsh. Now well within London, it once was pastoral and horses apparently were kept there. Hence hackney "small saddle horse let out for hire" (c.1300), with subsequent deterioration of sense (see hack (n.2)). And compare French haquenée "ambling nag," an English loan-word.


n. 1 A London borough where once upon a time many horses were pastured. 2 A town in this borough. 3 One of several breeds of compact English horses. 4 (surname A=An English habitational from=Old English) 5 (context in compounds English) (A means of transportation that is) available for public hire.

  1. n. a carriage for hire [syn: hackney carriage, hackney coach]

  2. a compact breed of harness horse


Hackney commonly refers to:

  • Hackney Central, an area of London
  • London Borough of Hackney

It may also refer to:


Hackney (parish)

Hackney was a parish in the historic county of Middlesex. The parish church of St John-at-Hackney was built in 1789, replacing the nearby former 16th-century parish church dedicated to St Augustine (pulled down in 1798). The original tower of that church was retained to hold the bells until the new church could be strengthened; the bells were finally removed to the new St John's in 1854. See details of other, more modern, churches within the original parish boundaries below.

Hackney (UK Parliament constituency)

Hackney was a two-seat constituency in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom created under the Representation of the People Act, 1867 from the division of the Tower Hamlets constituency and reformed under the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885 as Hackney North, Hackney Central and Hackney South.

The constituency existed in this two seat form for three general elections and returned two Liberal Party Members at each until its abolition and division into one seat constituencies.

Hackney (automobile)

The Hackney was a marque of microcar which seated one adult or two children, built in the mid-to-later 1950s by the Gordon W. Morton Company of High Point Road in Greensboro, North Carolina.

It somewhat resembled the concurrent Eshelman automobile, but differed in its most remarkable engineering features which included what the manufacturer termed its "Floating Power Unit", a self-contained rear-mounted engine/clutch/drivetrain combination in concert with the rear wheels and independent of the body. The FPU was mounted on pivots at front and back. Also, a floorboard-mounted one-stick control operated forward/rear motions and even braking action. The throttle control was mounted on the dashboard; a rope-recoil starter was used.

Two models were offered; the Standard and the Deluxe, the latter model also featuring a wraparound Plexiglas windshield in then-contemporary fashion, an electric horn, head and tail lamps and a lightning-bolt trim design on the flanks. Bumpers and a trailer hitch were standard on all models.

The squarish-looking Hackney bodies were of sheet steel; a running change added small fins atop the rear fenders on later models. Standard factory colors were red with white trim and wheels.

Engines were supplied by several manufacturers but surviving Hackney cars usually have a 2 HP Clinton four-cycle powerplant, which allowed speeds to six MPH.

Hackney (surname)

Hackney is an English medieval surname from the village (now London borough) of Hackney.

Notable persons with the surname Hackney include:

Usage examples of "hackney".

Hackneys and sedan chairs hurried up and down the street, bearing bewigged and bepowdered gentlemen and ladies.

Remington money, so I make Rem pay for the hackney to get the poor cawker home.

During the last twenty-four hours we could boast of no other eloquence but that which finds expression in tears, in sobs, and in those hackneyed but energetic exclamations, which two happy lovers are sure to address to reason, when in its sternness it compels them to part from one another in the very height of their felicity.

The people are a merrier divertissement than the theatre with its hackneyed stories.

Trace conceded as he occupied himself with maneuvering the pair of dyre pulling the hackney through a congested area of the street.

He then summoned up a hackney, and put Felix into it, directing the jarvey to drive him to Upper Wimpole Street, and at the same time bestowing a guinea upon Felix: largesse so handsome as to deprive the recipient of all power of speech until the jarvey had whipped up his horse, and to make it necessary for him to lean perilously out of the window of the hack to shout his thanks to his benefactor.

I do not approach you, my Lords and Gentlemen, in the usual style of dedication, to thank you for past favours: that path is so hackneyed by prostituted learning that honest rusticity is ashamed of it.

In common with most other unembittered mortals, he cherished a secret belief that the mental, emotional and physical female equivalent of himself did somewhere exist, so that to discover it and find it unattainable was an elementary form of tragedy none the less painful because it was a hackneyed tale.

Spaniard wheeled round towards him, and began to put the rough hackney through all the paces of the manege with a grace and skill which won applause from the beholders.

Winter is dedicated mainly to love and wine, to flowers and birds and dreams, to the hackneyed and never-to-be-exhausted repertory of the old singers.

Citizens in crowd, upon pads, hackneys and hunters, all upon the titup, as if he who rid not at a gallop was to forfeit his horse.

Europe scientific tests have proven that the Andalusian contributed to the development of the Connemara, the Cleveland Bay, the Friesan, the Hackney, the Percheron, the Thoroughbred, and the Welsh.

Every kitchen maid and barman, matelot and mechanic, hackney driver and barrowman is on the lookout should they make any move to leave the pub.

Jeanne was not at fault, and yet the Lord Bishop of Beauvais and the clerks of the university were shortly to bring home to her the gravity of the sacrilege of laying hands on an ecclesiastical hackney.

They saw a blockily built strawberry roan, his chiselled neck arched in a perfect crest, his rigid thigh muscles rippling under a shiny coat as he swung his hocks, his slim forelegs sweeping up and out, and every curve of his rounded body, from the tip of his absurd whisk-broom tail to the white snip on the end of his tossing nose, expressing that exuberance of spirits, that jaunty abandon of motion which is the very apex of hackney style.