Native English speakers, could you please help me with these issues?

Consider the following sentence:

"The suspect's vehicle started to pick up speed, but Correa PUT THE PEDAL TO THE METAL and went after the car."

Does 'put the pedal to the metal' mean that he 'speed up as much as he could'?

And is this the standar way to express that idea?

By the way, what do you call the 'part' of the car which makes a car speed up? Is it PEDAL? (In other words, while the brakes slows down the car or stops it completely; what do you call the other two 'parts' in the car, which are handled with the feet, to regulate its running?)

Just one last questionn, can the term 'pedal' be used when speaking of bicyles?

5 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    push the gas pedal to the (metal) floor of the car (max out the gas to make the car go as fast as it can).  It's a rhymer phrase so catchy in its own way.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    This expression originated during the 1950s, when cars’ floorboards were made of metal and racers would put the accelerator all the way down to make their autos go as fast as possible. The phrase has often appeared in song lyrics.

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  • 1 month ago

    There are three parts of a car which are handled with the feet. One is the accelerator pedal, also known as the gas pedal, which increases the engine speed if you push on it. If the car is in gear, increasing the engine speed will make it go faster, and that brings us to the clutch pedal. The clutch engages or disengages the engine with or from the transmission, so you can put the car into the gear you want. If you don't put it in any gear, if you leave it in neutral, the car won't move even if you push the gas pedal all the way down. Cars with standard or manual transmission have a clutch pedal. Cars with automatic transmissions do not have a clutch pedal because there are other parts of the car which change the gears automatically. The brake pedal, of course, engages the brakes to make the car slow down, if you push on it.

    Yes, bicycles have pedals. They are what you put your feet on when you ride. We don't usually, however, use 'pedal to the metal' for bicycles.

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  • 1 month ago

    This expression goes back to the 1970s, when there was a fad for CB radio (Citizens' Band).  CB was a radio band that anyone could use with just a permit, but most people didn't even bother to get the permit.  People abused CB radio so badly that in two or three years it was completely useless.

    There were a lot of slang expressions that got popular and were used in situations that had nothing to do with CB.  'Pedal to the metal' was one of them.  Everyone just understood it meant pushing the gas pedal down to the floor.  It was popular because 'pedal' and 'metal' rhyme (sort of).  Nobody said 'Pedal to the synthetic rubber mat'.  Today it means to go at something completely, driving a car or anything else. 

    As for bicycles, well they have pedals too.  But they don't just go down when you step on them, they go around in a circle.  You could still use the expression 'pedal to the metal' but it would be symbolic, just meaning to ride as fast as you could.

    • ron h
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      That predates the 70s.   I'd guess back to the 30's maybe 40's  

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  • 1 month ago

    The part of the car which makes it speed up is the accelerator, more typically called the gas pedal.

    Putting the 'pedal to the metal' means pushing the accelerator all the way down to the floor - yes, to give it maximum possible speed.  It is a common expression.  Also you can say, 'flooring it' and mean the same thing.

    Yes, a pedal can also be associated with bicycles (and other vehicles).

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