Why do cab drivers call you guvnor?

For those who know me well enough, I have a soft spot for England. I have lived there for years and quite contently if I may say so.

One thing I always wondered is when you’re in the back of a cab, the driver always calls you ‘guvnor’ (governor). I never asked them why. My friends didn’t know the answer when I asked them and Google doesn’t provide an answer either.

So this morning I decided to write a spontaneous E-mail to Addison Lee. And they answered promptly.

Dear Leendert,

Thanks for your email.

I haven’t a scooby about the origin of the word but Guvnor is British slang for Boss. So for example if asked “Where to Guvnor?” or “Where to Guv’?” basically means where would you like to go Boss. A bit like the driver is confirming that you are in charge and he is at your disposal.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

JC

So now I know. One less mystery.

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