I was trying to find out if there was a single word to mean the bumper at the end of a parking spot.

Concrete end-stop for parking space [Sunny Brook Pressed Concrete]

"Parking bumper" is a little unwieldy, and "wheel chock" seems to be more about airplanes or trailers than general parking spaces.

A bit of googling got me the word "turtarrier", but I can't find it referenced in any credible source, nor any etymological justification as to where it came from.

Is this the correct term, or should I use something else? Is it just someone making up a word about parking infrastructure on the spot (what possible reason would there be for someone to lie about this term)? If it is a real word, where did it come from and when?

  • 4
    My guess is that somebody made up the word, stuck it in the Urban Dictionary in 2007 as a joke, and all the other references ultimately come from that source. Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 14:11
  • 2
    That's what I suspect also. Although it's a little hard to imagine what kind of sense of humor encourages people to make up names for concrete lumps in parking lots. I'm also definitely curious as to why someone might have landed on this word (is it just a random conglomeration of syllables, or some sort of portmanteau)?.
    – pavja2
    Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 15:35
  • So far I've found phrases rather than single words including, "wheel stop" (200k) and "parking curb"(59.9k) seem to be in use. Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 23:54
  • 1
    I've heard/used various terms -- "curb block", "bumper block", "parking bumper", etc. Probably "concrete bumper" or "concrete bumper block" is as popular as any.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 23:44

4 Answers 4


I don't know if it's any less unwieldy than 'parking bumper', but I see them commonly called 'parking blocks'.

For reference:

  • I agree with the methodology of following the marketing. Neither Amazon nor Uline (an industrial supply catalog) has any hits on ‘Turtarrier’ but both will sell you parking stops, parking stoppers, and wheelstops. Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 17:15

The term 'chock block' comes to mind. It's those long, one-piece, concrete objects that prevent cars from parking with their front tires on the sidewalk. It is broad at the base, tapering to a triangular shape when viewing a cross-section diagram. The 'wheel chock' serves a similar purpose but is a smaller piece about the width of a tire. The long, concrete version is sold as a 'chock block' by Rumber.com and other companies.

  • 1
    From poking around, it seems that chocks or chock blocks refer to the removable wheelstops used for airplanes, at mechanics’ shops, and so on, for temporary and portable stoppage. Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 17:18

About turtarrier. Another answer breaks the word down. So how deep does the rabbit hole goes?

The frames idea is interesting, but is there really enough content to justify their usage?

Very deep. The Free Dictionary manages to link that word to its article on parking space. The word is nowhere to be found in the text or footnotes. Small print at the bottom links to the Wikipedia article on... parking space; turtarrier has a stub there which redirects to that article and the cryptic quote comes from the stub's talk page. How can someone casually say something like that when looking at that word? The "frames idea", where does that come from and does it provide any insight about the word.

Tour. I think the first token is really tour/tower. Tur is a form. There is also the word turo. It is supposedly an elevated pathway in the context of a farm plot - you would walk on that so as not to walk elsewhere. It goes around the plot and may traverse it. This links to the Littré @ turault but there's not much substance. Yet it's in line with many tour related meanings(as in going around i.e. faire le tour de; see this @3). So a mound of some kind. Also noteworthy, some medieval siege constructions can be "towers on wheels".

Tour arrière. I was certain this was fully transliterated from French. As in tour arrière. But it makes no sense with cars, or very remotely as in free circular shaped space at the back; but that would be most unusual and highly abstracted. It was just coincidence I found this gymnastics lexicon which identifies two figures as consisting of a specific kind of tour arrière, as in back flip or spin of some kind. One of these two figures is called a Stalder, I would guess because of Josef Stalder. So I gave stalder to the Free Dictionary for fun and it returned:

n. 1. A wooden frame to set casks on.

Very funny. Why this gives me the clue to explain the reference in the turtarrier talk page is a mystery. And why someone would say that applies to turtarrier per se, which is seemingly unrelated - but for this random/strange link with the gymnastics lexicon - just makes no sense. I'm not familiar with stalder, G images show nothing. I therefore thought the FD was making it up, but no. It's in the NED; a 'horse' or frames for casks to stand on. I understand the words but can't make out the object.

Tarière. It just so happens that a tarrière is a french word for a tool to make a hole in a tree for instance, or sometimes mounted on wheels to... dig "holes" in the ground. Google images yields visuals consistent with using such a tool on a land plot. Finding at the bottom of this tarriere article a reference to tariedre « grande vrille » is nothing short of eerie; I couldn't help but notice this is fully compatible with the gymnastics context as well as very descriptive of what the tarrière looks like. Vrille is a spin, it's a swirled shaped object, and it also spins, like tires. There is no rabbit; imho this was all, the thinking of a machine...

A. It's not clear what part the 2007 Urban Dictionary entry played here but the talk page on wikipedia was created around that time. Why would the word chosen as a hoax exhibit properties of a transliterated word like that etc. What are the chances that turtarrier sounds like a gymnastic figure and that a document containing an explanation about that and Stalder would explain the reference? Maybe it's just me. I don't know, but pending a better answer I would speculate this is either a very obfuscated form of SEO or a failed machine learning experiment; that a program program made a mistake trying to cross-reference semantics; that human error may have contributed. I don't think this word exists.

  • 5
    Surely tour arriere or maybe tour d'arriere is a "rear bollard"?
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 9:54
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach Thank you! Didn't know bollard. That could work, for a machine lol. It's a borne (de stationnement) although I would have used the generic poteau - it is a cylinder indeed, not unlike a tower without the "dented" top architecture. Other words similar to pilier (beam) come to mind. Tour d'arriere is very close a construct to something like "tour de taille" i.e. waist line but with reference to the bum imho. Tour arriere (à l'), if I live in a castle, maybe and have that at the back:) Ty!
    – user98955
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 18:56
  • 1
    I should also note that an auger(tarière) will be required to install a bollard, which makes sense. Thanks again @AndrewLeach for your insightful comment!
    – user98955
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 20:05
  • @AndrewLeach I wanted to thank you for your help on the asset and your kindness. You have helped me with other content on the asset by showing me how to quote material properly to give credibility to some naive answers I had provided after I complained because I was downvoted. I find you're an excellent moderator and I'm very thankful for your help. I will remember this. A Happy New Year to you and best regards! Cheers!
    – user98955
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 20:06

"Turtarrier" or tur tarrier

Tur, Ture Peut-être un nom correspondant au toponyme préroman tur (= colline). Peut-être aussi un nom de personne d'origine germanique, Thuro, de sens obscur.

Note: Colline is a small hill or mount.

Terrier or Tarrier, a tough man, a loafer -The American slang dictionary, by James Maitland


tarrier a) A layabout or loiterer; Someone who tarries.

It is a fascinating irony in that loiterer is defined "making purposeless stops in the course of a trip, journey, errand" but a 'tur' tarrier makes for useful stops

  • 3
    So your suggestion is that the word for a car park barrier comes, via a French surname, from the Celtic word for hill combined with a backformation fromn tarry? Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 20:50
  • @Tim: I really don't think this was a serious suggestion. Commented Jun 21, 2014 at 21:49
  • @Tim, my experience is that most language for as new concept/object is based on the connection made with our external, or personal (to a lesser degree) existing language. I read somewhere that it is estimated that over half of language came from existing words (catachresis -purposeful or not) but if we look at language from earliest man, it makes sense that lost etymology does not equate with none. As for the comment with respect to the Celtic/French connection and creating new words, the 'tribal' division that once existed is no more. Thank you for your intelligent comment
    – Third News
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 1:13
  • @PeterShor see above comment for explanation and replace lost etymology does not equate with none with lost etymology ≠ none
    – Third News
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 1:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.