What are "shooting brakes"?

Car magazine article talking about a restored car’s new carpet, says the oem floor material would have been rubber (pads presumably), but b/c the car had “shooting brakes”, it had never had carpets .

Just curious, never heard the term “shooting brakes” before, or what it would have to do w/the flooring material. Any ideas?

Basically it is a station wagon. It is a British term.

1 Like

Yes, it is a station wagon, estate is what they say in the article. So the “brakes” terminology appears to have nothing to do with the vehicle’s actual brakes?

No, it has nothing to do with the vehicle’s brakes.

lol … makes things more interesting I guess … lol .

1 Like

That is correct.

I like to watch Brit TV, I am in the US, but American TV plots have become so predictable. So, the wife and I enjoy watching British, Australian, and New Zealand TV shows. They may also use the same old tired TV Plots, but they are new to us…

I am First Generation and my mother is a Scot, so some of these terms were second nature to me, but since we watch so much Brit TV, we picked up the rest…

BTW, “Shooting Brakes” originally referred to the horse-drawn cart that carried a hunting party or a group of shooters, it later referred to the cart to carry goods to market and I can see how it came to mean a station wagon…

More terms that Every American should know in this Car Based Web Site… LoL…

• Kerb: The concrete curb along a road
• Bonnet: The hood
• Boot: The trunk
• Motorway: Another term for the highway
• Banger: A junky old car (also a sausage…)
• Petrol: gasoline. Thus, you refill at a petrol station
• Windscreen: The vehicle’s windshield
• Car park: A parking lot
• Indicators: turn signals
• Lorry: A large truck
• Sleeping policeman: A wry term for a speed bump
• Tarmac: The paved surface of a road
• Zebra crossing: The white-striped pedestrian crossing
• Gearbox: The manual transmission
• Hooter: A car horn
• Wing: The fender
• Junction: Where two roads intersection (aka intersection)
• Lay-by: Rest areas
• Tailback: A really, really major traffic jam
• Pram: While not really a car-related term, you’ll likely hear this term for a baby carriage if you have young children—especially if you’re storing one in the boot of your banger.


2 door station wagon, a british term really only used recently by Aston Martin for a limited Zagato shooting break. Sort of like using a nomad as a surf wagon but instead to carry game and the guns back to the estate.

1 Like

Well, Bobs your uncle! Good list.

I like Brit TV, too.


I assume you’ve read this:

1 Like

Pavement equals sidewalk.

My mother like to say this when I was a child

“It’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht the nicht.”

I really only thought it was a type of tongue twisting like “Knick Knack Paddy Whack…” as in give a dog a bone. I use to say it without even knowing what it meant.

It means “It’s a lovely, bright moonlit night tonight”

Just to get this kind of back to on track… On Brit TV, watch “Mystery Road,” an Australian TV series crime mystery series. It is best described as a neo-western, the police wear their guns slung low on their hips and they wear boots… There are 3-series and each series has 6 to 8 episodes.

1 Like

Many years ago I was in a hostel in downtown London. Everyone was in the common area talking, including a woman in her 20s who was leading a group of cyclists.

As the evening ended and all were about to retire for the night, the guy managing the hostel said to the woman: “What time shall I knock you up in the morning?”


To bring it back to cars… It isn’t called a rental car in the UK, it is a hire car.

1 Like

I found Mystery Road on Acorn. Thanks, I’ll give it a watch.

1 Like

Not car-related, but definitely related to transportation…
If you see a sign in London reading “Subway”, it just leads to a short pedestrian passageway underneath a busy street.

Confused Americans–who somehow forgot that the British term “Underground” indicates a subterranean railway–frequently walk down a short flight of stairs and wind-up being very confused when they are led to another short flight of stairs leading back up to the street.


Punter = customer.

1 Like

The trouble with any “term-of-endearment” it’s not always complimentary. A “punter” is also a con man, a gambler, someone who might be operating a “shadow business” (where they pay people under the table and such…), and sometimes a customer of a “lady-of-the-evening…”
And if a Brit asks for a “fag”, they are referring to a cigarette, not anything of the “alphabet nature…”

tenor (1)

That word always reminds of the Cat Steven’s song “Where do the Children Play” … two lines of the lyrics …

“Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass
For your lorry loads pumping petrol gas”

This phrase always reminds me of the Abbey Road album cover.

One more UK car-related phrase I see now and again, “hood”, I think that refers to the soft top covering of a convertible.

1 Like

The “shooting” part makes sense, but “brake” meaning a vehicle design?

I looked up the etymology in Oxford English Dictionary. Apparently, early 1830’s, there’s a 4-wheel carriage design called a “break”, designed for breaking-in horses (horses that have never been used for pulling purposes, therefore needing training). By 1860’s, the word “break” might also refer to a carriage that is purposely dragging something to make it harder to pull, a training aid for new horses to the stable. Somehow this same carriage design evolved in the 1880’s into a configuration that was popular for carrying hunters to the hunting areas, the spelling changing from homophonic “break” to “brake”, yielding the term “shooting brake”.

1 Like