metal » medal

Chiefly in:   pedal to the medal

Classification: English – /t/-flapping – idiom-related

Spotted in the wild:

  • Yet it’s so pedal-to-the-medal for most of its runtime that it’s hard not to get caught up in the swirling adrenaline. (UCLA Daily Bruin, Nov. 1, 1996)
  • Pedal to the medal, 90 mph, “I can’t hold her together much longer, captain” bluegrass. (Univ. of Mississippi Daily Mississippian, Mar. 24, 2000)
  • Mr. Russert, I was so upset by the things my wife said, I put the pedal to the medal and one of these police officers came up behind me with the flashing light and said, ‘you’re going 40 in a 25 I want to see your license and registration.’ (American University commencement address, Tim Russert, May 8, 2005)

Since the expression _(put the) pedal to the metal_ already rhymes, why not make the spelling align as well? The semantic slippage between _metal_ and _medal_ has already been noted working in the other direction (see medal » metal).

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/07/17 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by codeman38 , 2005/07/28 at 5:56 pm

    This alignment happens in the opposite direction, too: petal to the metal

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.