The machine at the parking space that takes your quarters is a meter. A meter is also a way of organizing and counting beats in poetry or music, and in the metric system, a meter is roughly equal to a yard.
Despite the fact that meter has many uses, they all relate to the same things: counting and measuring. The parking meter measures how long you've been parked, while a car's speedometer measures speed. Meters and kilometers measure distance. In music and poetry, the meter is the rhythm or beat. English poetry, such as the work of Shakespeare, uses a meter called iambic pentameter, which sounds like da DUM, da DUM, da DUM, da DUM, da DUM.