Usually, we always drive a car on the road, often the road's called "parkway". Which seems to be opposite of driving.
On the other hand, we park a car at parking lot or "driveway". And again, which seems to be opposite of parking.

Why can we just drive a car on the driveway and park a car at parkway? Why is it reversed? What is the origin of this (seems to be) weird usage?

  • To someone who close voted this question... What kind of research or context do you want? Surely I could (or should) have linked at least oxford, but I thought the meaning was widely-known. Maybe my searching skills are mediocre so I couldn't find why this "reverse" is happening (all I could find was joke about this question and not concrete answer). For context... I think I've already given as much context I could think of.
    – Skye-AT
    Nov 17, 2022 at 9:52
  • You could have looked at the dictionary definitions or Wikipedia, which has fairly good explanations of the terms.
    – stangdon
    Nov 17, 2022 at 11:57
  • 1
    park a car in a driveway. Not at. driveways and parkways are completely unrelated. You need to look them up. There is no reversal. park is a place with trees and plants.
    – Lambie
    Nov 17, 2022 at 18:34
  • 1
    Because English.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 20, 2022 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


The names are just ironic coincidences.

A parkway is a highway that goes by or through a park or natural landscape. The name has nothing to do with parking a car, other than the etymological connection that Kate points out in the comment.

A driveway is the lane you drive through to get to your garage. It's a coincidence that people so often park in them now.

  • 1
    The connection with parking a car is a complicated one. A park was originally an enclosed area of land round a big country house; the meaning evolved into a landscaped area for the public to enjoy, but another meaning was an enclosed area used for a particular purpose. An area for storing vehicles and cannon was called an artillery park, so in the 20th century we get the British term car park and the verb to park [something]. Nov 17, 2022 at 9:27
  • "to put (a vehicle) in a certain place" is first recorded 1844. That's from here: etymology.en-academic.com/26676/park
    – Lambie
    Nov 17, 2022 at 18:43

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