In order to illustrate the precarious social standing of Mr. Smouch, who takes Pickwick into custody for debt, Dickens described his carriage as neither one thing or another.
"The vehicle was not exactly a gig, neither was it a stanhope. It was not what is currently denominated a dog-cart, neither was it a taxed-cart, nor a chaise-cart, nor a guillotined cabriolet; and yet it had something of the character of each and every of these machines. It was painted a bright yellow, with the shafts and wheels picked out in black, and the driver sat, in the orthodox sporting style, on cushions piled about two feet above the rail. The horse was a bay, a well-looking animal enough; but with something of the flash and dog-fighting air about him, nevertheless, which accorded both the vehicle and his master."
The original readers of Pickwick Papers would have known exactly what is meant by a "guillotined cabriolet." I suspect that there's a joke there, but the joke has perished. I certainly don't get it.
Is there also joke in "bright yellow?" What is the usual color of a gig or stanhope?
There might be all kinds of jokes in the following list of socially-crepuscular horsedrawn vehicles, none of which precipitate hilarity, but of which the sum amuses me greatly: barouche, basket carriage, berlin, britchka, brougham, buckboard, buggy, cabriolet, caleche, cariole, carryall, chaise, chariot, clarence, concord wagon, coupe, croydon, curricle, cutter, daumont, dearborn, dennet, diligence, dog-cart, fiacre, fly, fourgon, four-wheeler, gig, go-cart, governess cart, hansom, herdic, jaunty car, jersey-wagon, kibitka, landau, patache, phaeton, pill-box, post-chaise, rockaway, shandrydan, shay, sociable, spider-phaeton, spring-van, stanhope, sulky, surrey, T-cart, telyezhka, tilbury, tarantass, trap, troika, victoria, vis-a-vis, wagonette, and wurt.