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Origin -- Honeydippers
The origin of the term "honeywagon" goes way back to outhouses not just recent porta potties... thought I'd just mention that you might want to check more into why it is called this...what I was told by parents who remember Honeywagons from in the early 20th century: the name had nothing to do with the color of anything dripping from "tanks"...they said they were called that tongue-in-cheek and the Honeywagon people were "Honeydippers" since they literally had to dip the waste from the hole in the ground in the outhouse to clean/empty them when they were getting full. Like beekeepers, who sold honey kept in large pots or barrels, would do to remove the honey to put in containers for the customer using a large dipper, the other honeydippers "dipped" the "honey"/waste from the privvie (sp?) and put it in the barrels on the honeywagon (which was actually a real wagon pulled by horses) and, as they drove thru the streets of the town to do their jobs, the flies, of course, would be attracted by the "fragrance" of the "honey" and buzz the wagon like they would buzz around honey skeps and hives and trees containing honeycombs. As I understood from them, it was a euphemism (sp?) and a fun way to talk about a private matter that couldn't be kept very private at that time...everyone knew when the honeydipper was at your house, if by nothing else, by the odor. Of course that may have just been the understanding and use by the people in their rural Midwest town when there were still honeydippers and honeywagons on daily routes on the town streets. Just a comment and suggestion. 184.108.40.206 (talk) 22:40, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
honey wagon –noun Facetious Older Use . 1. a wagon or truck for collecting and carrying excrement or manure. 2. a manure spreader, as on a farm. 3. a truck or trailer containing several toilets and used as a mobile rest room.
Also called honey truck.
Origin: 1910–15 (Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary)
07-24-2003 jjimm Location: Oxford
I can't give you the etymology, but I spoke to some elderly people at a history society in Oxfordshire, England, and they said that in the days before the villages thereabouts had drainage or septic tanks, there was a guy who came round with a horse and cart every day to pick up each house's "honey bucket", and it too was called the "honey wagon". This would have been in the 1920s.
I'm guessing it's just a jokey euphemism.
07-24-2003 An Arky Location: Arlington, VA
A WAG, of course, but I think it may have something to do with the old colloquialism for open sewage canals (generally in poor rural areas), "Honey Ditch" or "Sugar Ditch".
The article is wrong. The main traditional meaning is "a wagon or truck for collecting and carrying excrement or manure". The article covers only a more recent and limited usage.-220.127.116.11 (talk) 11:50, 17 August 2010 (UTC)