A luxury railway passenger car, named for George Mortimer Pullman, an industrialist who patented designs for a sleeping-car in 1864 and, after gaining publicity when one of his cars was used on the train carrying the coffin of Abraham Lincoln founded the Pullman Palace Car Company, later the Pullman Sleeping Car Company, in 1867. As an employer he became notoriously unpopular for slashing wages, leading to the Pullman attendants' strike of 1894 and a litany of anti-union practices which continued well past his death in 1897, but his name had already became synonymous with the sleeping car in the USA. In the UK the Pullman name was first used in 1880 and continues to be used for carriages on luxury day trains - first class with extra service - although the last exclusive Pullman trains were replaced by ordinary services with a Pullman carriage in the 1970s.

The Pullman company did not get a foothold elsewhere in Europe where the Société Internationale des Wagons-Lits held sway, but nonetheless the word was absorbed into Italian in a different context; there un Pullman is one of the network of comfortable blue municipal buses which are the mainstay of inter-town travel in the hilly peninsula where such railways as there are tend to be slow and unpredictable.