Friday afternoon car


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Friday afternoon car'?

A faulty or sub-standard car. More widely, any poor effort.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Friday afternoon car'?

This is a British phrase and alludes to the belief that car workers lose interest toward the end of the week and make cars which are below standard. The first reference I can find to it is in the Usenet group ‘net.auto’, from August 18th 1983 ( at 5:54 pm if you want to be precise):

“Regarding the British car which leaked more oil … Some of my (British) friends would say you have a “Friday afternoon car” – one built on the last day when everyone’s in a hurry to go home.”

Trend of friday afternoon car in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.