FENDER BENDER


Origin: The origin of the expression is self-evident. It refers to the parts of the car covering the four wheels. There are four fenders and each one could be bent in an accident. The appeal of the term is the rhyming factor – bender rhymes with fender, making it fun to say.   The term most likely originated during the 1960’s. Of somewhat greater interest is the word “fender itself.  It goes all the way back to the 13th century. It is actually a shortening of the word “defender,” an attachment added to boats, fireplaces and eventually to cars to protect their parts from damage. The use of the word with automobiles goes back to the early 20th century. “Fender” was also the family name of an electric guitar manufacturer that developed very popular guitars. They have a very recognizable shape.  They are still made today and played by many rock musicians.

 

Usage:  Informal, spoken, general American and British English

Idiomatic Meaning:  A minor collision between automobiles. It may or may not actually involve the fender

Literal Meaning: The expression can refer either to the fender of an automobile being bent out of shape or to a Fender guitar being bent out of shape for some reason.

 

Why is this funny? We have a major double meaning going on here. It’s not clear which fender was bent. In fact, looking at the illustration we see that both the car’s fender as well as the recognizable fender guitar have been bent as a result of the collision.

 

Sample sentence: Even though I only had a small fender bender, my auto insurance rate went up anyway

FENDER BENDER

Origin: The origin of the expression is self-evident. It refers to the parts of the car covering the four wheels. There are four fenders and each one could be bent in an accident. The appeal of the term is the rhyming factor – bender rhymes with fender, making it fun to say.   The term most likely originated during the 1960’s. Of somewhat greater interest is the word “fender itself.  It goes all the way back to the 13th century. It is actually a shortening of the word “defender,” an attachment added to boats, fireplaces and eventually to cars to protect their parts from damage. The use of the word with automobiles goes back to the early 20th century. “Fender” was also the family name of an electric guitar manufacturer that developed very popular guitars. They have a very recognizable shape.  They are still made today and played by many rock musicians.

 

Usage:  Informal, spoken, general American and British English

Idiomatic Meaning:  A minor collision between automobiles. It may or may not actually involve the fender

Literal Meaning: The expression can refer either to the fender of an automobile being bent out of shape or to a Fender guitar being bent out of shape for some reason.

 

Why is this funny? We have a major double meaning going on here. It’s not clear which fender was bent. In fact, looking at the illustration we see that both the car’s fender as well as the recognizable fender guitar have been bent as a result of the collision.

 

Sample sentence: Even though I only had a small fender bender, my auto insurance rate went up anyway

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