Have you ever wondered about the origin of the term ‘slow coach’? This is applied to someone who lags behind, taking more time than necessary. It’s left over from coaching days, and its first recorded use was in 1837 when Dickens applied it to Mr Pickwick. Later, in Martin Chuzzlewit, Dickens wrote:
`What are we?’ said Mr. Pecksniff, `but coaches? Some of us are slow coaches’ —
`Goodness, Pa!’ cried Charity.
`Some of us, I say,’ resumed her parent with increased emphasis, `are slow coaches; some of us are fast coaches. Our passions are the horses; and rampant animals too!’ —
`Really, Pa,’ cried both the daughters at once. `How very unpleasant.’
`And rampant animals too’ repeated Mr. Pecksniff with so much determination, that he may be said to have exhibited, at the moment a sort of moral rampancy himself: `and Virtue is the drag. We start from The Mother’s Arms, and we run to The Dust Shovel.’
When he had said this, Mr. Pecksniff, being exhausted, took some further refreshment. When he had done that, he corked the bottle tight, with the air of a man who had effectually corked the subject also; and went to sleep for three stages.
“It’s sometimes tempting to reproach
a person who is a slow coach.’