Posted by ESC on February 27, 2002
In Reply to: Hell on Wheels posted by Word Camel on February 27, 2002
: : : My mother likes to refer to herself as a "bitch on wheels from South Dakota".(She is not a bitch, nor does she have wheels, but she is a little scary as are all women from South Dakota.) Does anyone know the origin of "bitch on wheels"? Somehow I associate it with the 70's. Is it a biker thing?
: : Hmmm. I've also heard the expression "bitch on wheels", usually used in a probably chauvinistic way to describe a power-hungry woman in a corporate environment - think Demi Moore in Disclosure as an archetype for the bitch on wheels. However, although I can't currently recall any specific examples (which is just oh so helpful), I'm sure I've heard "on wheels" used with a variety of other nouns almost adjectivally as an intensifier - Hell on wheels seems to ring vague bells in my failing mind. I'm not sure of the origins at all, but the implications are fairly clear. Anything on wheels is liable to be more effective and efficient at what it does.
: I believe "Hell on Wheels" is the self proclaimed nickname of the American army's 1st Calvary Division. I have posed for photos on their tanks. (One of the 'privileges' of being an army brat)
What this world needs is a good dirty word/phrase reference book. I've got a couple of books that held themselves out to be references. But they only contain lists of words and meanings. Nothing on the origin and first use.
On "Drew Carey," a U.S. television show, Drew's nemesis Mimi buys a motorcycle. Drew tells her that (paraphrasing), "Now you really are a bitch on wheels." But I don't think the phrase actually has to do with cycling. I believe it's probably a variation of "hell on wheels."