I'm curious how popular the word 'wheelie' is among native speakers. I'm a foreign citizen and came across it accidentally.

For the curious, wheelie means when you maneuver your bike/bicycle to roll on one wheel only.


I'd say wheelie is very well known in the U.S. Most kids grow up doing wheelies on their bikes or watching someone do it.

According to Wikipedia, wheelies have been widely known since at least 1943, and they were further popularized by Evel Knievel.

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    I agree that "wheelie" is well known in the U.S. – Kevin Walker Dec 4 '10 at 22:08
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    I think it is well know on this side, too. – Remou Dec 4 '10 at 22:23
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    I grew up in the UK and it was very common there (both in London and in Yorkshire). As far as I know it’s the main word for that bike trick all around the UK (and I think also Australia and Canada), so anyone who grew up with kids on bikes around will know it. – PLL Dec 5 '10 at 0:39
  • Certainly, anybody who watches EEEVEEEEL KA-NIEEEVEEEL would know what a wheelie is. That's actually one of the safest things he's done, FWIW. ;) – user730 Dec 16 '10 at 3:39

Wheelie is well known in Australia. BTW: the opposite of a wheelie is a stoppie, that is when you apply the brakes sufficiently hard to life the rear-wheel off the ground. Tends to apply more for motorcycles.

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