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Bus is a clipped form of the Latin adjectival form omnibus ("for all"), the dative plural of omnis-e ("all"). The theoretical full name is in French voiture omnibus ("vehicle for all"). The name originates from a mass-transport service started in 1823 by a French corn-mill owner named Stanislas Baudry [fr] in Richebourg, a suburb of Nantes. A by-product of his mill was hot water, and thus next to it he established a spa business. In order to encourage customers he started a horse-drawn transport service from the city centre of Nantes to his establishment. The first vehicles stopped in front of the shop of a hatter named Omnés, which displayed a large sign inscribed "Omnes Omnibus", a pun on his Latin-sounding surname, omnes being the male and female nominative, vocative and accusative form of the Latin adjective omnis-e ("all"), combined with omnibus, the dative plural form meaning "for all", thus giving his shop the name "Omnés for all", or "everything for everyone". His transport scheme was a huge success, although not as he had intended as most of his passengers did not visit his spa. He turned the transport service into his principal lucrative business venture and closed the mill and spa. Nantes citizens soon gave the nickname "omnibus" to the vehicle. Having invented the successful concept Baudry moved to Paris and launched the first omnibus service there in April 1828. A similar service was introduced in London in 1829.

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