In an episode of Top Gear, Clarkson is talking about a car called Ariel Atom. He says that you might think the car is a toy(It's a car without bodywork that looks like a go-kart), but you'd be mistaken. Then follows a sentence I've difficulty understanding.

"You see, the engine is lifted from a Honda Civic Type R"

Then he proceeds to explain that the car is very light and develops 300 horse power.

The only definition that fits here I found is: lift 9. Informal. to steal.

I checked Wikipedia and the engine in this car is indeed used in honda civic. Was he using the word lift as meaning steal?


1 Answer 1


In British English, "lifted" can certainly mean stolen as you suggested, but along with a number of other similarly informal or slang words for the same thing (eg 'nicked', or 'nabbed') it doesn't have to mean that the crime of theft has been committed. It can also mean that something has been reappropriated. For example, in music, if a few bars of a song or melody have been used (fairly) in a new work, we might say that those sections have been 'lifted' from the original work. This could also fit your example if an engine from one vehicle is now being used in another, as reappropriation means to be used for a different purpose than originally intended.

However, in your specific example about a vehicle engine, "lifted" could also possibly mean that it was literally lifted with a crane out of one vehicle and put into another. enter image description here

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