Engine or Motor

Engine or motor

Is it an engine or a motor?  By definition a motor is converting electric energy into mechanical energy and an engine is converting chemical energy into mechanical energy.  By reading this we can say that our car is propelled by an engine – right?

Why do we go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)?  Why not call it the Department of Engine Vehicles?

Why do we ride a motorcycle or a motorbike? Isn’t it really an engine cycle? 

Why is Detroit called Motor City?

Some other terms/words to think about:  motorist (or are we engineist?), motor-vehicle or motor-car, outboard motor (it is really an outboard engine), Fire engine, Motor-home, ebay motors (has lots of cars for sale with engines), and motorsports (why not call it enginesports?).

We refer to a steam locomotive as an engine. Small boats may have outboard motors and then are often called motor boats.

The next time you go to the auto parts store to purchase oil, take a look at some of the labels and you may see that most refer to their product as motor oil (not engine oil).

Even business names tend to get it wrong:  Hendrick Motorsports, and Continental Motors Inc (they build aircraft engines).

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