1550s, "large kind of carriage," from Middle French coche (16c.), from German kotsche, from Hungarian kocsi (szekér) "(carriage) of Kocs," village where it was first made. In Hungary, the thing and the name for it date from 15c., and forms are found in most European languages (e.g. Spanish and Portuguese coche, Italian cocchino, Dutch koets). Applied to railway cars 1866, American English. Sense of "economy or tourist class" is from 1949. Meaning "instructor/trainer" is c.1830 Oxford University slang for a tutor who "carries" a student through an exam; athletic sense is 1861.