carfax

This word looks like a complement to car phone. (Unsurprisingly, it’s also the name of a company that offers vehicle history checks.) It may also make you think of a town in England, or rather a place in a town (Oxford, among others) or even a building at that place (Carfax Tower). It will have a special resonance for stokers of Stoker, as Carfax Abbey is where Dracula beds down in England. If you read Asterix comics, it may strike you as a name suited for one of the Britons Asterix meets in Asterix in Britain. It has a pleasing crispness to it, [k]s and fricatives, and the a‘s around the r and f have an appearance that may be reminiscent of people passing a turnstile – or perhaps a turnpike, a large turnstile used in centuries past at road toll gates. The x could look like a top view of the turnpike. As it happens, it also resembles a top view of this word’s object: a crossroads. The word is related to French carrefour, which comes from Latin quadrifurcus, “four-forked.” And if you come to one such in a car, it is best to have your facts straight.

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