Ambulance
[ Issue 27 ]

Ambulance fascinates Emily Bronto

Bikwil celebrates Ambulance

The Word "Ambulance"

This is another in an occasional series called Interesting OriginsR.K. Sadler here provides a note on the derivation of the word "ambulance".

It is difficult to believe an ambulance speeding to a hospital today is connected to walking.

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Interesting Origins — R.K. Sadler

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It is difficult to believe an ambulance speeding to a hospital today is connected to walking. The Latin word ambulo means “I walk”.

In the nineteenth century in the midst of battle, the wounded soldiers, who could not walk, were often treated where they lay until the fighting had finished at the end of the day. The French army began to use a wheeled cart on the battlefield referred to as a “hospital ambulant”, a walking hospital. At first it was used to take medical supplies to the wounded soldiers, but as time progressed it was used also for carrying wounded soldiers off the battlefield.

Thus the ambulance of today derives its meaning from a walking hospital.

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