Petal to the metal is a colloquial expression with a meaning of going at maximum speed.
It means pushing the acceleration pedal to the limit, which in most cars is a metal panel.
“Pedal to the metal” is synonymous to the expression balls to the wall.
It is unclear where exactly the phrase is originating from, however, it started appearing in the 1970’s.
It is often used by truckers so a likely source of origin for “pedal to the metal” is trucker jargon, spoken on CB radios.
The phrase even appeared in the 1978 trucker movie, “Convoy”.
“Pedal to the metal” became an idiomatic phrase over the years, appearing in many various contexts, all over the globe.
It appears in the title of several musical albums, including those of Impellitteri and Blessed by a Broken Heart.
The phrase was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2004.
- Merriam-Webster – Put the pedal to the metal