Why do we call an ENGINE a MOTOR?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by boyntonstu, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member

    A motor uses an existing energy source like electricity to produce work. An engine converts raw fuel into work..Steam Engines, Diesel Engines, Gasoline Engines..Electric Motors..You never hear the term Electric Engine.

    An automobile generally has one engine but several motors. Examples of motors in a car include the starter, wiper motor, fuel pump and heater fan motor. The engine burns fuel, typically gasoline, to propel the vehicle forward. As the engine turns, it also powers the generator that charges the battery, which provides the power required for the various motors in the vehicle. However, the engine remains the prime mover of the vehicle as it drives.

    If you accept the above; we are riding an engine assisted bicycle.
    lucianomi likes this.

  2. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    What engine/motor's in your car? Do you buy engine oil or motor oil? You have a rebuilt engine/motor for sale. Motor has my vote, just makes more sense, nuff said!
  3. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member

    I drive on a parkway and park my car on a driveway. nuff said!
  4. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    the word "motor" has been around a hell of a lot longer than electric motors have. the distinction is recent.

    I was always told that engine is just a more specific word.
  5. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    Is NASCAR an Enginesport or Motorsport? Was your Chevy made by General Engines or General Motors? Does Valento Rossi race Enginecycles or Motorcycles?........English words may have specific meanings in the dictionary and the court room, but not in practice.
  6. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member

    Do you park on a driveway?

    BTW May people believe that "You Shall Not Kill" is one of the Bible's Ten Commandments.

    "You shall not murder" (Hebrew לֹא תִּרְצָח lo tirṣaḥ) (sometimes mistranslated as You shall not kill (KJV) or Thou shalt not kill (LXX; οὐ φονεύσεις), is a moral imperative included as one of the Ten Commandments in the Torah,[1] specifically Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17.

    Kill/Murder not the same (If they were the same, there could not be death penalties)
    Engine/Motor not the same

    Do you feel that your car engine should be in the same class of machines as your car windshield motor?

    If a word is used for a long time by many people, it does not mean that it is correct.

    Example: This oxymoron sentence: "Johnny, climb down from that tree!" is not logical or correct.
  7. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    dictionaries set the standard for use of words

    The word motor comes from the word motion.

    the Merriam-Webster dictionary gives this as the definition of the word "motor":

    a machine that produces motion or power for doing work
    1: one that imparts motion; specifically : prime mover
    2: any of various power units that develop energy or impart motion: as
    a : a small compact engine
    b : internal combustion engine; especially : a gasoline engine
    c : a rotating machine that transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy
    3: motor vehicle; especially : automobile

    Now here is their definition of the word "engine":
    a machine that changes energy (such as heat from burning fuel) into mechanical motion

    so you can see that the two words are basically interchangeable. Down here in south america only the word motor is used for an internal combustion engine.
  8. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member

    Now here is their definition of the word "engine":
    a machine that changes energy (such as heat from burning fuel) into mechanical motion.''

    Does the thingy on your MB burn fuel? If so, it is an engine.

    Have you ever seen a motor that burns fuel?
  9. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    Look again at this part of the definition of motor:
    2: any of various power units that develop energy or impart motion: as
    a : a small compact engine
    b : internal combustion engine; especially : a gasoline engine
  10. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    actually, theyre really called a двигатель but that really is a nasty, hard to pronounce looking thing....make a cool label though...

    or in the land of manufacturing... 发动机 !
  11. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    There was a guy on my local craigslist that was infuriated at the way motorcycle sellers used bobber and chopper interchangeably. I answered his post in agreement, but told him that we can't really stop language from changing and evolving.
    -Bobbers and choppers have things in common, but they are distinctly different.
    -I feel the same way about engines and motors.
  12. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member

    These are my engine/motor definitions:

    All engines have intake ports and exhaust ports.

    Engines get their power from gas, Diesel, natural gas, hot air, or steam.

    Motors get their power from electricity.

    These are images of Motorcycle Engines: https://www.google.com/search?q=motorcycle+engine&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=FAm9VIDEDYHMgwSLk4OgDg&ved=0CEUQsAQ&biw=1173&bih=793

    Is it strange that not one motorcycle engine is a motor?

    English is strange; We drive on a parkway and park on a driveway.

    My electric motorcycle is powered by a zero stroke motor with no exhaust or muffler.

    Don't oil your electric motor with engine oil.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  13. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    what do you call this one?


    yes, ok, its a pneumatic drill...but some call it an air motor...

    some call it an engine....

    by that definition...a source of motive power using the potential energy of a compressed gas to produce work... a steam engine should be a steam motor... but that sounds silly, and so does air engine. what about co2 ones?

    but it has valves and ports so it MUST be an engine!

    what was that chinese one again?

    omg, i had this horrible thought last night...chinese is a very um...non descriptive language. its the dominate language on earth... slowly the whole population will get dumbed down by this rather limited language... china wins, everyone becomes a worker in the new order, as the language simply isnt built for "thinking". oh dear...

    compare latin to english when it comes to descriptive words... or german. russian....theyre all very good languages for adding on bits. like "antidisestablishment" is just lots of little words and additions to make one big word that conveys the idea. chinese might take half a page to do that... as far as im aware, an english man would say "he sauntered along with determination" the latin author would just write "he walked."

    then syntax gets in the way.

    determined is the walk of the man observed...

    you should actually lubricate your electric drive source with a suitable oil, and "motor oil" for "motor cars" as used by "motor mechanics" is about the most readily available option...

    alright....dont make any more pointless threads on a topic that is mere linguistics rather than anything of any relevance... or you might get banned the way things are going :-/
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  14. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member


    Flying with CO2
    by Otto Kuhni

    With such a wonderful selection of these small (some even tiny) engines made possible by Stefan Gasparin and available through the Blacksheep, there is an opportunity to build quite a variety of small, light scale, sport, competition model aircraft, either for free flight or RC, indoor & outdoor. You name it. A safe, clean, and satisfying way to fly. The power produced for their size is astonishing.

    A word about how they work. The CO2 and steam engine work on the same principal. They are expansion engines. The main difference, the fuel. The CO2 engine uses gas generated from liquid CO2, as opposed to steam. The gas vapor under high pressure is fed through a small tube from the tank to a chamber with a ball and valve seat in the cylinder head. When the piston, which has a post centered on top, pushes the ball out of the seat (at top dead center), gas rushes in, pushing the piston down. The gas exhausts through ports as the crankshaft swings around toward bottom dead center. As the piston comes back up, the cycle is complete. The engine will run either direction.

    What does Harley Davidson call their thingies?


    H-D1™ Factory Customization

    Make it yours from the start. Now with H-D1™ Factory Customization, your personalized 1200 Custom motorcycle is built just for you from the Harley-Davidson factory. It's easy: use the online H-D1™ Bike Builder tool to configure a bike that fits your style and personality. Select from extended paint offerings and genuine H-D engines, wheels, seats, handlebars, footpeg positions and security. Bring your plan to your Harley-Davidson dealer for consultation and to place your order. Our employees go to work, building your motorcycle according to your design, and in about 4 weeks* your masterpiece will be ready for you at your dealer.

    AFAIK Harley Davidson Motorcycles have no motors; just engines.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  15. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    does something about that sentence seem contradictory?

    my sincerest apologies, but youll have to call them "enginecycles" from now on....

    enginised bicycles...

    my enginevehicle is in at the engine workshop...

    why do motor mechanics repair engines but engineers design motor cars?
  16. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member

    "Motorcycles have no motors."

    About as contradictory as driving on a parkway or parking on a driveway.

    I suggest a general term for both electric and gas powered bikes; "Powercycles".

    However, If Harley Davidson says that their motorcycles have engines, forget about dictionary definitions.

    Laminate the Harley words and carry it in your wallet.

    You may win a bar bet.

    This forum is a learning experience. Enjoy.
  17. Fly1

    Fly1 Member

    The word motor is indeed for electric not gas.I never under stood why out board engines were called
    outboard motors. But they do but that does not make them right in calling them that.

    The engine porting that is now the standard of most two stoke engine is called loop scavenging.
    Here again is the wrong term.It is call Schnuerle porting.But there again was missed spelled.
    The engineer that invented this stile of porting was Adolf Schnurle & he has the patent on it to this day.

    It should be called Schnurle porting instead.Just some info.Sorry for being a know it all as I was
    called on another site (WINK).
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  18. boyntonstu

    boyntonstu Member

    I agree with you.

    Until and unless people use and define words correctly, others will be misled.

    My favorite misuse: Heat/Temperature.

    Which has more heat; a lit match or your body?

    Hint* Which can melt more ice?
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  19. Fly1

    Fly1 Member

    Quote (My favorite misuse: Heat/Temperature.

    Which has more heat; a lit match or your body?

    Hint* Which can melt more ice? ) Quit it!!! I,m getting all mixed up now.Ha,Ha!
  20. keatonx

    keatonx Member

    It doesnt really make sense how they started calling it loop scavenging, because when you think of it crossflow scavenging also follows a loop pattern. And with crossflow designs the last think you want is your gas just going aCROSS (that's what the piston divider is for).