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The Word of the Day comes from THIS HOUSE IS HAUNTED by John Boyne.


The dandy horse, a derogatory term for what was first called a Laufmaschine (in German), then a vélocipède or draisienne (in French and then English), and then a pedestrian curricle or hobby-horse, is a human-powered vehicle that, being the first means of transport to make use of the two-wheeler principle, is regarded as the forerunner of the bicycle. A dandy horse is powered by the rider's feet on the ground instead of the pedals of later bicycles. It was invented by Karl Drais (who called it a Laufmaschine [German: [ˈlaʊfmaˌʃiːnə], "running machine"]) in 1817, and then patented by him in France in February 1818 using the term vélocipède. It is also known as a Draisine (German: [dʁaɪˈziːnə] (listen) in German, a term used in English only for light auxiliary railcars regardless of their form of propulsion), and as a draisienne (French: [drɛzjɛn] in French and English. In English, it is also sometimes still known as a velocipede, but that term now also has a broader meaning.

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