Where does 18-wheeler come from?
Examples of 18-wheeler
Who uses 18-wheeler?
18-wheeler is informally used today by the general public in speech and writing for any large semitruck, regardless of the actual wheel count. Truckers themselves and others in the industry typically use either more specialized jargon or colorful slang lingo to refer to their trucks, though many will still call a semitruck with 18 wheels an 18-wheeler.
An 18-wheeler is the largest commercial vehicle allowed by federal regulation on interstates and, perhaps as a result, a go-to hyperbole for extreme force. For example, someone who has the flu might say that they feel like they were hit or run over by an 18-wheeler.
Another notable example of 18-wheeler in metaphoric use comes in rapper Drake’s 2013 single, “Connect,” where he sings: “She just wanna run over my feelings / Like she drinking and driving in an 18 wheeler.“
This is not meant to be a formal definition of 18-wheeler like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of 18-wheeler that will help our users expand their word mastery.